From this Metafilter thread, mostly about the Grandaddy of Using Conspiracy for Profit, there is a link to a righteous rant by the blogger MightyGodKing. He, like myself, has lost all patience with the false-flagger conspiracy loons who blame all criminal malfeasance on subtle and unknowable government evil. He points out what I have as well many times, and quite frankly does it much better than I ever have. The 'Conspiracy Theorists' who scream "False Flag" over any and all tragic events are trying desperately to have an important place in the consequences of the horror. MGK writes:
"because yelling “false flag” doesn’t really have anything to do with the
plausibility of a conspiracy theory, but instead relies on the
desperate need of people – and, let’s be honest, generally white dudes,
because it is white dudes who comprise the overwhelming majority of
conspiracy theorists – to feel victimized when something bad had absolutely nothing to do with them."
That is the long and short of it. The point of engaging conspiracies has nothing to do with engagement at all. It is appropriating pain for personal self-importance. Frankly it is no different than the companies widely reviled who use tragic events to market their products. That's not engagement, but rather manipulation and as MGK notes, it's awfully assholish.
"falseflaggers don’t care because their theories aren’t about logic or
reason or anything at all. Their theories are about making tragedies
that happen to other people about them. It’s a fundamentally
narcissistic response to tragedy – to not only ask “how does this affect
me” but to twist the facts of the event to create a narrative so that
you are more likely to be affected. It’s an asshole move, plain and
simple, and falseflaggers deserve to be treated like assholes, because
When government decides to do shady unethical stuff, typically the last thing they want to do is, y’know, call attention to it.
“I’ve drafted a new bill to give us complete control of all milk
production in the country. But first, let’s blow up a few thousand cows
so everyone’s attention will be firmly on the dairy industry. THEN
we’ll sneak it by them. Heh, heh heh.”
More to the only point I would add to what MightyGodKing writes is what another commenter in his thread suggests:
Believing in conspiracies makes you smart. Any time you get an online
discussion of this kind of thing, someone will announced that while the
official story may fool the sheeple couch potatoes who accept whatever
lies the mainstream media spoonfeed them, smart people look behind the
lies and uncover the truth! As CS Lewis once observed, this is an
awfully seductive delusion.
The idea that one is smarter than 'everyone else' is seductive, but also instructive. It clarifies to any rational person that False Flaggers don't want to engage but rather seek desperately to hide from any engagement. It is circular reasoning that shows disagreement is evidence of 'lesser thinking', and so should (must) not be taken seriously. The false flagger knows more, cares more, has more importance to reality and existence than the person who points out that they might be wrong. Of course they're not wrong; every breath or word of question and/or disagreement proves how right they are. It's a particular invulnerability to the truth, based solely on the need to be important.
Seriously, there are enough real conspiracies in the world to occupy our time. Cops acting illegally and hiding behind the 'thin blue line', Wall Street in general, the Republicant's desire to drown government in a bathtub and many Democrats desiring to help them, Obama's flawed "Grand Bargain", 'the Left's' betrayal of labor, the LDS Church opposition to the icky 'gays' being people, ALEC, the NRA, the Patriot Acts, the 'War On Drugs'. These things are not hidden; they're in your face every fricken day. BUT, they don't afford one a sense of being a superhero who sees what's *really* going on, and latching oneself like a remora to tragedy in order to feel important while being disengaged. Those common place conspiracies are just life that we all deal with in this 'bestest country EVAR!'
So, next time you encounter someone talking smack about 'free energy beam weapons', 'actors hired to play amputees' and people disappearing mysteriously from a tragedy, nod sagely and walk away (never losing eye contact until at a safe distance.) You won't convince them of the crazy they spout, and they won't help you in covering anything that is a real concern. They're in it for themselves, may they find their place in Heaven or build to good Karma. But it isn't about you, and never will be. It is about, to them, how the horrors of the world are theirs to own.
Confession time: I've spent an enormous amount of time paying attention to the current round of firearm legislation debates. It's not because I'm committed to one side or the other. It's because I'm fascinated with the arguments themselves, which are so very often completely and laughably stupid. It's like watching mental train wrecks in real time.
I've made it no mystery that I have great sympathy for the rational firearm control arguments. It's not because I agree with them, but more because they aren't, for the most part, completely insane. They tend to be more factual, less personal and they often focus more clearly on the goal most all of us share. Frankly, it's hard to have sympathy for arguments that are sensationalistic, fantastic and fearful, like those foisted by Gayle Trotter:
Uhhm, what? Gun control regulation disfavors women because AR-15s are scary against the 3,4,5 hardened criminals invading your home, and the wimmens need something light and easy to shoot? That is what she just argued, right? So let's set the stage:
Molly homemaker with her brood of precocious but not at all misbehaved children is simultaneously cooking dinner, vacuuming the floor, planning her next pregnancy and doing dishes, when suddenly, the MENS break in! There have to be at least 3,4,5 of them, beastly bulging hardened criminals, no doubts with prison tattoos and an agenda of rape, carnage and cannibalism! If only Molly's husband were home (or not passed out on the couch watching BassMasters) he could engage these ruffians in hand-to-hand struggle, given his superior physical prowess, all 3,4,5 of them. But no, Molly is left only to her whits and her trusty assault rifle. She deftly unslings the weapon, and with terrible accuracy she fires into the chest of the first Brute. Of course, the .223 is kind of a poodle-shooter so she requires 15 more rounds from her 100 round drum to drop the monster in his tracks. The other 2,3,4 beasts, seeing how scary her Bushmaster looks, flee in terror of Molly. The day is saved, and ... Scene!
If you can read that without at least cracking a smile, then you are either at least as much of a fantasist as Gayle, or you know nothing about firearms and the concept of initiative. Here's some of what I'm getting at: 1) The best weapon for home defense is small, light and easy to use effectively under pressure. I suggest bird-shot in a pistol or a small caliber shotgun. 2) Home invasions happen far more rarely than mass or accidental shootings. 3) When home invasions do occur, it is rare that the invader is of a right mind to be rational, and if they are, they are rarely unarmed. Here in Bozeman, just this past week, a 'home invader' was repelled by being swatted at with a broom-stick. Not very rational, and most certainly not a "hardened dangerous criminal". 4) A gun's effectiveness is absolutely proportional to its proximity to a ready shooter. If these fragile and vulnerable wimmens that Trotter speaks of aren't packing a *rifle* at all times, then it likely won't do them much good as a defense. 5) I've written it a hundred times and been proven right a hundred times. The best defense against a home invasion is a large breed dog.
Trotter's little fear-fantasy fails to be persuasive because of it's obvious absurdity. But it truly and ultimately fails because it relies on an assumption that underlies almost every stupid argument from the pro-gun crowd. Trotter thinks that someone is going to take her gun away. Uhh, no. Not going to happen. Simply put, that's why I don't fear this debate or feel all that emotionally attached to either side of it. I don't fear that someone will take my guns. I don't fear registration or control of sale. I don't fear an "assault weapons ban" because prohibition has always proven useless. If I want an AR-15, (and I do) I'll get one eventually. But the second I start to argue that I "need" one, or that I'm a victim because someone else doesn't think I "need" one when I think I 'really do', then folks, please point and laugh at me. Just like I'm pointing and laughing at Gayle Trotter, and you should be too.
If there is something that I cannot stand it's an idiot who thinks he can use logic as a cudgel, and doesn't understand what he's saying/writing. Posting two alternatives, and requesting more, is not in anyway a fallacy as Mark Tokarski would present it.
First, he proclaims that I engaged in the fallacy of the Excluded Middle. He obviously doesn't understand that since I didn't present violence as the negation of voting, I did no such thing. The law of the excluded middle assumes that two things negate each other. Apparently recognizing his error, he now claims that I and others have presented a False Dilemma. The false dilemma assumes that there are only two choices possible. To any who actually think, please notice that these are not the same. ~sigh~ No. It's a simple fricking question. If we aren't to engage in violence or voting, exactly what will "organizing" accomplish? It's a question. Mark will provide no answer of the sort required. If he responds at all, it will only be to continue positing failure on the part of others such that he not see the failure on his own part.
The neighborhood drunk was apparently unhappy with his efforts at sympathy. Not content with his sloppy "I Luv You, Man', he again attempts to turn the beige house against others in the neighborhood by mischaracterizing what has been written by others. It's a classic troll. And the Drama Queen bites, hook, line and sinker.
JC stupidly pens:
If politics is only all about process–the nuts and bolts an mechanics of electoral politics (the fluffery), then there is no room for vision or leadership, or building one’s actions out of a base built on solid principles, or motivated by the vision of a charismatic leader like MLK.
Well allow me to retort.
Not only is your premise flawed, JC, but your conclusion follows from nothing. Politics isn't "only" about process, as you state. I've never said that, and neither has anyone I know. Some of us focus on process, because that's who we are, and what we do. What you've just stated is that those who are not you are denying what you desire. We're stopping you from getting what you want, in your narrow mind. Actually, we agree about much of what we want. I just think you're a full-of-shit emoprog when you deny that there is a process by which we reach such a destination.
Here's a clue or two for you. MLK is dead. Get over it. Nor was he solely responsible for the Civil Rights act. Politicians passed that act, y'know, legislators? Those folk get elected by a process. At no point does a process like that negate a principle, or any of the principles which drive it. What does negate that process and the principles behind it is whining about the process folk who are attempting to get you what you want because we haven't succeeded in providing you with a 'leader'. Grow up. This ain't recess, and you don't need the teacher to protect you from the bullies or demand that you get chosen first for dodgeball.
I’m learning that my cynicism needs to be tempered with letting others have their own experiences.
Seems like you need to learn a little bit faster, kitten. No one owes you a "leader". That isn't anyone elses role. But we all do have a part to play. For some of us, like your daughter and myself, that part is process.
Just as Tokarski keeps wailing that "we" need to organize, and won't do a damned thing to accomplish that, JC keeps calling for a leader and refuses to be one. No problem. That happens all the time. JC has been writing a great deal of good stuff about the Occupy Wallstreet protests. But he won't go, he isn't there. He would, no doubts, talk smack about others who aren't there because this is the Most Important Thingy Ever, but yet he's not there. Think on that for a second. I'd bet that he doesn't have the money and he has to work, and that's why he hasn't joined this brave protest. You know what? That's process. That is what process folk focus on, like me. That's why I'm not there. For me it was a simple decision, as I'm certain it was for the Drama Queen. But his angst is so much more important. Why would that be? Why isn't he challenging Mark, the champion of extra party organizing, for sitting on his ass in Colorado and instead JC's uttering bullshit about what process folk do?
For one, satire is usually funny. Mimicking in a completely bullshit way is rather apish, and one of the many reasons that the right is so poor at it. It saddens me that so many on the left are so poor at it as well. Satire begins with 'the truth' and then points to its absurdity. Satire does not begin with a Straw Man, then commence knocking it down with Ad hHominem, contradictory thinking and insult. That's the right wing method. If one wants satire I suggest The Borowitz Report, The General J.C. Christian or the Onion. If one wants self-important bullshit, I suggest this.
And for the record, Mark Tokarski actually had the balls to confront Milt Shook. Milt smacked him like a bug.
Thanks for proving the point of the article for me.
Wanna talk about arrogance and hubris? How about your assumption that I don't "support Social Security, Medicare, oppose torture and want the wars to end, the tax structure restored, jobs protected."
No one's marginalizing the far left. The far left is marginalizing itself. Have you noticed? The far right keeps winning elections, even though they represent the smallest portion of the American populace. And it's because of people like you, who think it's "the Democrats" who are marginalizing you. Democrats have NEVER betrayed liberals; that's a fantasy. MOST minorities and poor ARE Democrats. Union members are MOSTLY Democrats. When you say you've been "betrayed" by "the Democrats," what you are actually saying is, blacks, Hispanics, the poor, gays and the elderly are "betraying" you.
That you were deeply insulted by the post demonstrates a galling level of narcissism. And the only one demonstrating "arrogance and hubris" here is you.
The Sore Winners are easy to find. They are most visible at their flagship, Fox News, which dominates both cable news and the political conversaton and yet is always embattled, defending itself against the heathen. They are loudest not only on secular talk radio, but also in Christian broadcasting, which tells its listeners that a nation that remains a nation of Christians rather than a Christian nation is a nation that has turned against them. This is not to say, however, that the Sore Winners are strictly a political phenomenon, manipulated, as some would have it, by their masters in the media or by the money men from Wall Street. No, what makes the Sore Winners such a force in American politics is that their anger is so personal.
Worrying about what someone who doesn't think about you thinks about you: this is the essence of Sore Winnerdom, and it is no accident that it also the essence of the Republican animus. The Republican party was small and hidebound — the party of country-club corporatists, and the range-war West — until, with the Reagan Revolution, it began grafting unto itself the legions of the disaffected: the Christianists, the Southerners, the blue-collar workers displaced by the collapse of America's industrial base and estranged from the unions that failed them. The Tea Party, in this sense, is not a new development so much as it is part of an ongoing migration of the perpetually petulant, a political phenomenon grounded in a demographic one: the creation of a class of baby-boom retirees who have been deprived of meaningful work but given personal computers as Christmas presents. The skin on the Republican Party's "Big Tent" is by definition thin, and under it gathers a volatile throng of people with nothing in common but the fear that outside its environs someone is laughing at them — or simply having a better time.
Do read the whole thing. And keep in mind that these are your fellow travelers in this country, and online. Big Swede. Mark Polish Sounding Name. Flip sides of the same coin. Rob Natelson, Travis Kavulla, Eric Coobs. Special snowflakes among those lesser who fail to hoist the Sore Winners to shoulder and parade their success through the town square. That is elitism, by the very real definition of the word, before it was changed to mean 'eating arugula and fancy mustards', as the Republicants have changed the definition of so many other words. Soren Kierkegaard called this urge "Caesar or Nothing"; be so important to others that one loses the ability to abide oneself. But, casting aside the sense of self has two consequences only. If "they" won't adore you, then dominate ... castigate ... HURT them, or act in manner too self destruct (witness Nov. 2, 2010).
When I was in the SCA, lo many years ago, there was a knight who is still seen as one of the most accomplished of all time. You, yeah you. That nerd out there laughing? He coulda kicked your ass in the blink of an eye. And I'm not exagerating. What he said has stuck with me to this day. Paraphrasing: No matter what awards or honors you've achieved, 99.999% of the world just couldn't give a shit.
So now, those who've achieved by any combination of birthright, grant of skills, sheer luck and hard work, the Sore Winners are mad, because 99.999% of the world doesn't give a shit about their success. And they're gonna take it out on you, even if you're one of those who achieved. Don't get me wrong, here. The TeaPublicans will eat their own, just as willingly as they will eat their lessers. Because they are mad, angry. Caeser or nothing. My socialist/communist friends might tell me that it's because of the consumption culture in which we live. They would likely be right. Stating the obvious, in many ways. But it doesn't change the reality around us, not does it assuage the anger of the Sore Winners.
Everywhere I go in the Montana online, I encounter Big Swede. He promotes himself as an important captain of industry, wealthy and hiring the plebes to do his bidness. A bit of problem with that, though. He spends more time online that any other two commenters combined. Is this why the rich are rich; because they waste their time online and ask us lowly to pay for their frivolous efforts? Just wondering ...
To further complicate the matter Rep. Grayson has said that he will not apologize for what he said, “Because I said the truth.”
See, this is Bob's problem. He's not once clarified what Grayson said that was offensive, and should be apologized for. 44,000+ Americans die every year due to lack of health care coverage, and Grayson made that very clear. A preventable sum of deaths, that we take no action to prevent, is indeed a holocaust. The Republicans, in charge of Government for 6 years, took no action. One can only assume that they want this needless death to continue. Do you have a better argument, Bob? No? Didn't think so.
Republicans are calling for him to be punished and a “resolution of disapproval” passed. This is what was done against Congressman Joe Wilson for his infamous “you lie” comment.
Democrats are saying, that Grayson doesn’t need to be condemned and
according to an email from Pelosi, “Members of Congress should focus on
the issue at hand: ensuring quality, affordable and accessible health
insurance for all Americans.”
Shouldn't they? Isn't that what Republicans have been calling for, with their lack of any plan even?
This is EXACTLY the kind of crap that makes our Congress such a complete and utter failure.
I'm sorry. I don't remember your post condemning Republicans for wasting time with condemnation of Joe Wilson. What's that? You thought that worth ignoring? Of course you did. Congress is only wasting time when you will lose the argument.
Instead of actually working on issues such as, helping taxpayers,
cutting burdensome regulations, and restoring personal liberties
Congress is arguing like little kids on an elementary school playground.
See the above, Adney.
Honestly, can you imagine if this happening at your place of business?
How old are you? Who do you work for? To me, you seem a puppy. Let's be truthful. In most places of business, such time wasting is almost casual. It is expected as part of the power games. Wasteful? No shit, Sherlock. But you pretend that it doesn't happen as if you have any clue.
Democrats and Republicans sit in DC and find little things to blow out
of proportion in a pathetic attempt to score a few political points.
This is not a Republican or Democrat problem; it’s a Washington DC
Yes, yes it is, Bob. It's both their damned problems. Your argument is little more than sedition. 'We should eradicate DC'. Can you be more full of shit? Do you have a better suggestion for governance? Come forth with it if you do. But be careful. The Constitution might find you ... something of a traitor. You want the parties to agree? Come up with something they agree on. You won't do that. i know. After all, you still think that the Republicans have a health care plan beyond "don't get sick and die quickly if you do."
Every day that goes by I lose more and more of what little confidence and respect I had for the politicians in Washington.
Every day that goes by I lose more and more of what little confidence and respect I had for the Constitution. You don't like the people, vote them out. What's that? You can't vote for or against those you can't vote for but others can? You hate the fact that Democracy doesn't serve your whims? Tough shit, kitten. People in New York and Massachusetts vote for people you don't like. But you're not arguing against the people, Bob. You're arguing against the institution. Traitorous words, my friend.
I have been waiting for days to finally watch this, and it was better than I imagined. While the debate has raged for a week over whether or not the 9/12 TeaBagger Cumtogether was 70.000 people or 2 million, this video begs for a more prescient debate: How many of those protesters were deeply ignorant manipulated fools? The numbnuts holding a "Joe Wilson for President" sign who doesn't actually support Joe Wilson for President, nor knows anything about him except that the sign carrier supports Wilson's poor impulse control? Maybe the people outraged over Czargate? How 'bout the baby dodos doing exactly as a FOX news producer tells them to during this "grass roots" event? This is the deeply stupid in action.
Republicans, if you have any pretensions of actually serving America, perhaps these idiots shouldn't be your base. If this was a subtle plan to steer these loud and uninformed masses to the Constitutional party, then I support your efforts. Please make more.