Archive for the ‘Bullshit Politics’ Category
“White people — almost exclusively white men — committed some 64% of the shootings….Black people committed close to 16% of the mass shooting…it turns out that whites and blacks are pretty proportionate to their population…” – CNN
The Myth: Whites predominantly are behind mass shootings
Vice “Reports”: Poorly researched articles, as this by Vice, share blame. Author Josiah M. Hesse cites Mother Jones, and concludes, “So white men have been responsible for about 63 percent of mass shootings in that span, despite comprising a far smaller portion of the total population.” But the US Census shows whites make up 77.4% of the population. So why does the myth of the “Male White Shooter” persist?
Journalism Creates Myth: Like other prevalent myths such as “Gun crimes are increasing,” media laziness is to blame. Research shows gun crimes, and all crimes are decreasing. See “No Increase in Shootings” or Steven Pinker’s thoroughly researched The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined.
Gun Homicide Rate Down 49% Since 1993 Peak, Public Unaware – PEW Research
Fact Check! How do we solve this as journalists and individuals? Fact check. For those who do not know how to use Google, there’s a great site called Let Me Google That For You. I’m talking to you, Vice “writer” Josiah (Yes, Josiah, non-Hispanic whites = 63%, but it still doesn’t explain how your shoddy research considers this a “smaller portion”).
What’s Not a Myth: Mass shooters are predominantly male.
Sunsplash: In Spain, a Music Festival demanded that a Jew speak against Israel. He didn’t. The festival took back the invitation. But they were okay that one of their artists incites GLBT hatred.
Capleton: “Dem fire apply do di lesbian / All boogaman (gays) and sodomites fi get killed.”
Matisyahu: “Treat people the same. Stop with the violence. Down with the hate.”
Taking Sides: In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to support the Palestinians necessitates condemning the excesses of the Israeli government, Hamas, and the PA. Bellicose attitudes on both sides have contributed toward suffering. It’s reasonable to see why a Palestinian views Israel with distrust, and vice-versa. What’s not reasonable is a European music festival promoting anti-Semitism while welcoming a reggae artist whose lyrics promote killing homosexuals.
Update: Spanish festival re-invites Matisyahu (That was quick!)
From The Express Tribune – “What Netanyahu’s Victory Means for Palestinians”: “There was little hope before, there is little after. Peace, within the Israeli-Palestinian dialectic of moot-point politics, gives way to cynicism. Hatred will continue. As long as the ideology framed in the Hamas Charter holds power – even with Netanyahu being replaced by, say, Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhi, or Mother Theresa – peace will be unattainable.”…more
(My above quote, lest I be accused of plagiarism, in full context, “The following has been repeated often, but if Israel got rid of their weapons, Israel would be annihilated. If Palestine got rid of their weapons, there would be instant peace and Palestinian statehood.”)
From the Los Angeles Review of Books (5:49):
Caleb Powell: Why did you get so angry about the letter?
David Shields: Good question…I mean, all you’re doing is fucking me over. (Riding Lawn Mower video)
Caleb Powell: …I have a license to antagonize, ’cause anything I do wrong to you will end up helping us.
Caleb Powell: We should bomb the world with images that offend these terrorists…
David Shields: That’s a typical sort of Caleb move, which is ostensibly about politics but is really meant to reflect a sort of moral glory on himself.
Charles Barkley, Joe Scarborough, Louis Farrakhan, New Orleans Saint Benjamin Watson, witnesses, protestors, conservative and liberal journalists, the nation and world, even North Korea weigh in on Ferguson.
Worthwhile Causes: Racism used to be about slavery, Jim Crow, Rosa Parks, Emmet Tills, the Alabama church bombing, Civil Rights. However, looking at the Ferguson aftermath, it’s become a game of Tag, You’re Racist, it’s about “F the po-lice” and “burn this bitch down.”
The Left Splits: Recently we had Bill Maher vs. Ben Affleck; now it’s Ferguson. We should agree rule of law, fairness, and justice are universal and worth fighting for. But Ferguson? Really? Charles Barkley’s independent voice has reason, and as to the left? Despite (or because of) the Al Sharpton-like jackbobs (check out Sheriff Clarke’s take), the left isn’t united:
Joe Scarborough (MSNBC): “There are so many great people to embrace as heroes in the black community that deciding you’re going to embrace a guy who knocked over a convenience store, and then according to grand jury testimony, acted in ways that would get my children shot … that’s your hero? That’s the reason you want to burn down black businesses?”
Charles Barkley: “There is no excuse for people to be out there burning down people’s businesses, burning down police cars. …We can’t pick out certain incidentals that don’t go our way and act like the cops are all bad…. Do you know how bad some of these neighborhoods would be if it wasn’t for the cops?”
Red Herrings: The dog chases the fox, and someone throws a stinky fish to fool the dog. Generalities that divert from specifics, like this article, are red herrings: “What I did in Kenosha after the police killed my son” The wise dog ignores the misleading smell. Yes, racism has been part of society. Yes, racism is not over. Yes, police must be responsible. Yes, the big picture matters. But. As with media, society is addicted to red herrings. Ferguson is primarily about Wilson vs. Brown.
What We Know: In August of 2014 Michael Brown shoplifts cigars, bullies a man, does not obey a cop, and is shot.
What the Grand Jury Heard: Both sides. Black and white witnesses, forensics including 21 feet of blood splatter and bullet entry wounds.
Crime: If Brown survived, he would have been charged with a felony.
What the Grand Jury Decided: Not to indict.
The Media Fuels Ping-pong Prejudice: If the media had shown both sides, this case would have died. Processing Ferguson incorrectly incites prejudice, giving bigots false reasons to hate the police, and giving bigots false reasons to perpetuate racism, and there are no good reasons to be prejudice. No one wins.
Agreement: We should be against racism, police brutality, and mob violence. We should be for fairness. The media has failed, and so have many individuals. We must choose just causes, and the tragedy of Michael Brown is not one.
Washington Post – ‘Hands Up Don’t Shoot’ Was Built on a Lie
Washington Post – Testimony of witness 10
White Police Chief Indicted
Al Sharpton Hurting African Americans Nigel Innis, Black man who grew up in Harlem and saw two of his brothers murdered.
115 Police officers killed in line of duty in 2014
“Noam Chomsky, Professor, MIT” vs. “Sophal Ear, Professor, Naval Postgraduate School”
“Chomsky uses official KR statements and propaganda as ‘credible documentation’ while dismissing the eyewitness accounts of people fleeing abominable conditions and further states ‘Washington is the torture and political murder capital of the world.'” – Nate Thayer – Western journalist specializing in Cambodian affairs. Known for his 1997 interview of Pol Pot.
Noam Chomsky:“(Magazines) concluded that executions have numbered at most in the thousands; that these were localized in areas of limited Khmer Rouge influence and unusual peasant discontent, where brutal revenge killings were aggravated by the threat of starvation resulting from the American destruction and killing.”
(Note: Chomsky cites magazines, including “a letter to the editor” in The Economist. This quote comes from a 1977 essay in The Nation ‘Distortions at Fourth Hand.’)
Sophal Ear: “I am merely a former Cambodian refugee, for whom English is my fourth language. Yet it does not take much effort to find precisely what Chomsky wrote in 1979 (After the Cataclysm) and to let it speak for itself.”
Noam Chomsky: “In the first place, is it proper to attribute deaths from malnutrition and disease to Cambodian authorities?”
Sophal Ear: “While my family worked and died in rice fields, Chomsky sharpened his theories and amended his arguments while seated in his armchair in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I believe that he would probably have me blame the Americans and their bombs for causing everything around the Khmer Rouge to go wrong.”
Noam Chomsky: “If a serious study… is someday undertaken, it may well be discovered… that the Khmer Rouge programmes elicited a positive response.”
Sophal Ear: “Since Cambodia, he has expanded his game to North Korea and Bosnia. I must hand it to him – more than three decades after wagging his finger at refugees like myself in ‘Distortions at fourth hand‘ (The Nation, 6 June 1977), and later in After the Cataclysm (South End Press, 1979) he continues to quote selectively and to obfuscate.”
(Note: quoting, by nature, is selective. Chomsky, in his 1988 book The Culture of Terrorism, self-obfuscates as he attributes chief responsibility for killings to the Khmer Rouge.)
Noam Chomsky: “Personally I’m very much opposed to Hamas’ policies in almost every respect. However, we should recognize that the policies of Hamas are more forthcoming and more conducive to a peaceful settlement than those of the United States or Israel. So to repeat: the policies, in my view, are unacceptable, but preferable to the policies of the United States and Israel.”
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, 2006: “We will never recognize the usurper Zionist government and will continue our jihad-like movement until the liberation of Jerusalem.” And 2013: “The gun is our only response to [the] Zionist regime. In time we have come to understand that we can obtain our goals only through fighting and armed resistance and no compromise should be made with the enemy.”
Sophal Ear: “Indeed, perhaps someday Chomsky will acknowledge his ‘honest errors’ in his memoirs, speaking of the burdens of academia and the tragic irony of history. His victims, the peasants of Indochina, will write no memoirs and will be forgotten. They will be joined by his North Korean and Bosnian victims…For decades, Chomsky has vilified his critics as only a world class linguist can. However, for me and the surviving members of my family, questions about life under the Khmer Rouge are not intellectual parlour games.”
“In the Netherlands, for beating to death a fellow human, you might receive eight years, I figured. It wasn’t much. With a little good behavior, a little raking around the prison grounds, you could be out the gates within five.” – Herman Koch, from The Dinner
On November 21, 2011, in Rotterdam, Jason Halman killed his brother Greg. The tragedy of Greg Halman, a Seattle Mariner and one of a few Dutch nationals to play in the Major Leagues, parallels Dutch novelist Herman Koch’s The Dinner. Both show how psychopathy and mental illness can flourish.
Eddy Halman, Patriarch and Perpetrator of Domestic Violence: The Halman family trials, told by ESPN, detail violence, envy, and restrictive family ties. Papa Halman played professional baseball. He became derailed by alcoholism, a virulent temper, and a penchant for violence, especially towards his wife. One son, Greg Halman, had special talent. He eventually was signed by the Mariners and made his MLB debut in September of 2010. The other son, Jason, took after his father.
Trouble in Holland: Greg Halman showed promise, and in 2011 had 91 At Bats and hit .230 with two homers. His power, speed, and defensive prowess looked to help the Mariners in 2012. After the 2011 season ended he returned to Holland. There, his brother stabbed him to death in an argument over loud music. Jason Halman was released less than a year later because he suffered from a “psychoses” that was “exacerbated by marijuana use.” There’s more, as the ESPN link shows, but what a gruesome legal and medical system that gives criminally inclined psychopaths treatment with the aim of freeing them.
The Dinner: Herman Koch’s The Dinner examines two brothers, Paul and Serge, and their wives, Claire and Babette. Serge is a prominent politician and Paul is an educator on leave. Paul and Claire have a son; Serge and Babette have a son, an adopted African son, and a daughter. The four adults dine at a very expensive restaurant in Amsterdam, where they will discuss the fact their three sons are complicit in the murder of a homeless person, fuzzy and ambiguous footage of their crime is caught on security camera. The African son did not commit the murder, but has evidence on his brother and cousin, and thus is blackmailing them.
Psychopath Patriarch Number Two: Paul has a past. He assaulted his brother, his superior at school, and received a “punishment” of paid administrative leave, counseling, and psychotropic drugs. Paul believes the elimination of “scum” improves society, and knows the Dutch penal system favors the criminal at expense of society and the victim. He almost obliquely coaches his son not to feel remorse or compassion. By dessert Claire also proves herself nuts. The finale’s disturbing message: Most sociopaths, despite their craziness, are sane enough to take advantage of the system.
US vs. Holland: This is tangential, but some people may ask, what about the US? In a previous post, A Mexican Foreign Worker vs. Lila Abu-Lughod, a Mexican criticized Algerian culture. In the comments section a friend, rather than engaging, noted that Mexico had similar problems. This is counter productive. When pointing out violence, sexism, racism, and other societal problems, groups tend to look at others rather than themselves. This is especially egregious when a member of one country or religion feels attacked. They misread an attack on misogyny or other injustice as an attack on them. A pan-humanitarian philosophy can avoid this. No matter how different cultures are, humans are humans. What’s wrong in Holland is also wrong in the USA. Example: Former Angel Lyman Bostock’s Tragic Death, Ethan Couch, ‘Affluenza’ Teen Who Killed 4 In Crash, Given No Jail Time. and Judge lets Spoiled Teen Killer Off. And so?
Freeing sociopaths is bad, period: Sending the rich and/or insane messages that you can kill with minimum impunity damages everyone in society.