She Said That? 8/18/17

From J.K. Rowling (born 1965), British novelist and screenwriter, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (1997):

It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.

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Why Gun Sales Have Declined Under Trump, by Sam Bocetta

Gun sales have declined and gun retailers are overstocked. According to Sam Bocetta there are deals to be had. If you don’t have an AR-15, or if you just want to supplement your arsenal, it’s a good time to pick up one, two, or a few. From Bocetta at fmshooter.com:

Many of us welcomed Trump to the Presidency with a sense of pride. However, there is one group for whom the new (ish) president has brought some bad news – gun store owners, and gun manufacturers.

This is because gun sales have seen a significant drop since the election of Trump. But don’t worry – this does not indicate waning enthusiasm for people to own guns. Quite the opposite. It appears that demand has dropped because people feel that their rights to own guns will be protected under the new administration.

The extent to which this is true remains to be seen. While Trump seemed to be pro-gun during the election campaign, and though his campaign eventually won the backing of the NRA, it is not clear that there is a concrete policy position on gun rights. Like a lot of issues raised by the new administration, Trump’s stance on gun rights is frustratingly vague and lacking in details.

Of course, doing nothing to further erode our Second Amendment rightswould be a welcome change from the Obama regime. The constant attempt to ban and / or limit ownership of assault-style weapons, though ultimately defeated, was a source of worry for people don’t want their rights to be further limited, or who rely on these guns for their livelihood.

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To continue reading: Why Gun Sales Have Declined Under Trump

Total Eclipse, by James Howard Kunstler

The moon of lunacy passes in front of the sunlight of reason and truth, producing a total eclipse of sanity. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

First they came for the statues….

What do you know, long about Wednesday, August 16, 2017, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal) discovered that the United States Capitol building was infested with statues of Confederate dignitaries. Thirty years walking those marbled halls and she just noticed? Her startled announcement perked up Senator Cory Booker (D- NJ) who has been navigating those same halls only a few years. He quickly introduced a bill to blackball the offending statues. And, of course, the congressional black caucus also enjoyed a mass epiphany on the bronze and stone delegation of white devils.

I’d like to hear to hear an argument as to why the Washington Monument should remain dedicated to that vicious slave-driver and rebellious soldier, and indeed the name of the city that is the federal seat of government. Or the District of Columbia (after Columbus, who initiated the genocide of Native Americans). Or America, cribbed out of Amerigo Vespucci, the wicked Florentine cartographer who ascertained that the place called Brazil today was not the east coast of Asia but actually a New World — and so all our troubles began!

Well, there has been a lot of idle chatter the past half-century about the root causes of this-and-that, and it seems that we have located one at last. I expect that scientific studies out of our best universities will soon confirm that occult transmissions from the statue of Jefferson Davis (a double-devil named after an earlier devil) are responsible for the murder rate in Chicago.

Just as empires tend to build their most grandiose monuments prior to collapse, our tottering empire is concocting the most monumentally ludicrous delusions before it slides down the laundry chute of history. It’s as if the Marx Brothers colluded with Alfred Hitchcock to dream up a melodramatic climax to the American Century that would be the most ridiculous and embarrassing to our posterity.

To continue reading: Total Eclipse

 

How To Know You’re In a Mass Hysteria Bubble, by Scott Adams

Sometimes Scott Adams hits the ball over two adjoining fairways and into a parking lot, and sometimes he stripes it 300 yards down the middle. This article is a great shot. From Adams on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

History is full of examples of Mass Hysterias. They happen fairly often. The cool thing about mass hysterias is that you don’t know when you are in one. But sometimes the people who are not experiencing the mass hysteria can recognize when others are experiencing one, if they know what to look for.

I’ll teach you what to look for.

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A mass hysteria happens when the public gets a wrong idea about something that has strong emotional content and it triggers cognitive dissonance that is often supported by confirmation bias. In other words, people spontaneously hallucinate a whole new (and usually crazy-sounding) reality and believe they see plenty of evidence for it. The Salem Witch Trials are the best-known example of mass hysteria. The McMartin Pre-School case and the Tulip Bulb hysteria are others. The dotcom bubble probably qualifies. We might soon learn that the Russian Collusion story was mass hysteria in hindsight. The curious lack of solid evidence for Russian collusion is a red flag. But we’ll see how that plays out.

The most visible Mass Hysteria of the moment involves the idea that the United States intentionally elected a racist President. If that statement just triggered you, it might mean you are in the Mass Hysteria bubble. The cool part is that you can’t fact-check my claim you are hallucinating if you are actually hallucinating. But you can read my description of the signs of mass hysteria and see if you check off the boxes.

To continue reading: How To Know You’re In a Mass Hysteria Bubble

A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand, by Paul Craig Roberts

The only problem with this article is Paul Craig Roberts expressing shock at what the charlatans and criminals in the media and the government say about Trump. The president may end up digging his own grave, but until then, he can’t flip a light switch without a chorus of denunciation. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.org:

The liberal/progressive/left are enjoying their drunkfest of denunciation. I can’t say I have ever witnessed anything like it. These are the people who sat on their hands for 16 years while Washington destroyed in whole or part seven countries. Not being satisfied with this level of warmongering and crimes against humanity, Washington orchestrated a conflict situation with Russia. Americans elected a president who said he would defuse this dangerous conflict, and the liberal/progressive/left turned on him. In contrast, one person is killed after the hated Charlottesville protest event was over, and there is endless absurd outrage against the president of the US.

Three New York Times presstitutes yesterday blamed the crisis on Trump, declaring him “increasingly isolated in a racial crisis of his own making.” Apparently, Trump is responsible for the crisis because he blamed both protest groups for the violence.

But isn’t that what happened? Wasn’t there violence on both sides? That was the impression I got from the news reporting. I’m not surprised that Trump got the same impression. Indeed, many readers have sent emails that they received the same impression of mutual violence.

So Trump is being damned for stating the truth.

Let’s assume that the impression Trump and many others got from the news is wrong. That would make Trump guilty of arriving at a mistaken conclusion. Yet, he is accused of instigating and supporting Nazi violence. How is it possible to transform a mistake into evil intent? A mistaken impression gained from news reporting does not constitute a “defense of white nationalist protesters.” An assertion by the New York Times cannot turn the absence of intent into intent. What the Establishment is trying to do is to push Trump into the arms of white supremacists, which is where they want him.

Clearly, there is no basis for this charge. It is a lie, an orchestration that is being used to delegitimize President Trump and those who elected him.

 

To continue reading: A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand

Welcome to the Post-American World, by Tom Engelhardt

America looks everywhere for the causes of its decline…except in the mirror. An excellent analysis from Tom Engelhardt at tomdispatch.com:

Pardon Me!
High Crimes and Demeanors in the Age of Trump

Let me try to get this straight: from the moment the Soviet Union imploded in 1991 until recently just about every politician and mainstream pundit in America assured us that we were the planet’s indispensable nation, the only truly exceptional one on this small orb of ours.

We were the sole superpower, Earth’s hyperpower, its designated global sheriff, the architect of our planetary future.  After five centuries of great power rivalries, in the wake of a two-superpower world that, amid the threat of nuclear annihilation, seemed to last forever and a day (even if it didn’t quite make it 50 years), the United States was the ultimate survivor, the victor of victors, the last of the last.  It stood triumphantly at the end of history.  In a lottery that had lasted since Europe’s wooden ships first broke out of a periphery of Eurasia and began to colonize much of the planet, the United States was the chosen one, the country that would leave every imperial world-maker from the Romans to the British in its shadow.

Who could doubt that this was now our world in a coming American century beyond compare?

And then, of course, came the attacks of 9/11.  A mere $400,000 and 19 suicidal hijackers (mostly Saudis) armed with box cutters and organized from Afghanistan, a country plunged into an Islamic version of the Middle Ages, had challenged the greatest power of all time.  In the process, they would bring down iconic structures in what would soon be known to Americans as “the homeland,” while killing almost 3,000 innocent civilians, acts so shocking that they really did change the world.

Yet even then, a fervor for world-organizing triumphalism only took firmer hold in Washington.  The top officials of President George W. Bush’s administration almost instantly saw the 9/11 attacks as their very own “Pearl Harbor,” the twenty-first-century equivalent of the moment that had launched the U.S. on the path to post-World War II superpowerdom.  As Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld instantly told his aides in the rubble of the Pentagon, “Go massive.  Sweep it all up.  Things related and not.”  And indeed they would do just that, seizing the moment with alacrity and promptly launching the “Global War on Terror” — aka, among the cognoscenti, World War IV (the third, in their minds, having been the Cold War).

To continue reading: Welcome to the Post-American World

Russia-gate’s Evidentiary Void, by Robert Parry

Can the mainstream media stoop any lower? Now the New York Times is relying on unsupported assertions from Ukraine’s notoriously unreliable government, which regards Russia as an enemy, concerning the alleged Russian “hacks” of the election. From Robert Parry at consortiumnews.com:

The New York Times’ unrelenting anti-Russia bias would be almost comical if the possible outcome were not a nuclear conflagration and maybe the end of life on planet Earth.

A classic ample of the Times’ one-sidecoverage was a front-page article on Thursday expressing the wistful hope that a Ukrainian hacker whose malware was linked to the release of Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails in 2016 could somehow “blow the whistle on Russian hacking.”

Though full of airy suspicions and often reading like a conspiracy theory, the article by Andrew E. Kramer and Andrew Higgins contained one important admission (buried deep inside the “jump” on page A8 in my print edition), a startling revelation especially for those Americans who have accepted the Russia-did-it groupthink as an established fact.

The article quoted Jeffrey Carr, the author of a book on cyber-warfare, referring to a different reality: that the Russia-gate “certainties” blaming the DNC “hack” on Russia’s GRU military intelligence service or Russia’s FSB security agency lack a solid evidentiary foundation.

“There is not now and never has been a single piece of technical evidence produced that connects the malware used in the DNC attack to the GRU, FSB or any agency of the Russian government,” Carr said.

Yet, before that remarkable admission had a chance to sink into the brains of Times’ readers whose thinking has been fattened up on a steady diet of treating the “Russian hack” as flat fact, Times’ editors quickly added that “United States intelligence agencies, however, have been unequivocal in pointing a finger at Russia.”

The Times’ rebuke toward any doubts about Russia-gate was inserted after Carr’s remark although the Times had already declared several times on page 1 that there was really no doubt about Russia’s guilt.

To continue reading: Russia-gate’s Evidentiary Void