A Must Read Essay On The Destructive Force Of Truth Avoidance

This is an absolute must-read essay (via Instapundit). It is a nice tie-in to my semi-recent post “The Offended Society: Killing Freedom To Think And Our Future“. Be sure to note that the problem is found in all facets of society including one of the last bastions of foundational values: religion.

Of Pigpens And Paradise

Excerpt (please read the whole essay):

This is why I get so angry at my fellow conservatives who blame bad schools and incompetent teachers for the poor educational results among the impoverished. Children are not empty receptacles into which we can insert knowledge. If they live in homes filled with noise, chaos, violence, and contempt, it doesn’t matter what race they are, they are going to be very lucky to make it….

…Here’s the thing: it’s not just the poor and the working class anymore. I’m told by teachers and others that it’s the middle class now too. The attitude that if anything is wrong, it’s Somebody Else’s Fault, is becoming general. Nobody wants to hear criticism of any sort. Nobody wants to recognize authority, or to assert authority in a meaningful way.

This is what it means to live in therapeutic culture, in which maintaining a sense of well being is the absolute telos of our common and individual life. This is what it means when the values of the marketplace (e.g., “The customers is always right”) have infected our normative institutions, and inform the way families and individuals see themselves. This is what it means when our churches (insofar as people still attend them) treat their purpose as offering people comfort and uplift, not solid moral norms and preaching repentance when we fall short. This is what it means when we the people expect our institutions — our schools, our churches, and so forth — to cater to our own felt emotional needs.

The middle class can forestall the reckoning because we have money and resources to avoid the consequences; the poor and the working classes do not. But a reckoning is coming…

Twitter Content Drawdown #FreeStacy

First, I’m not about to fool myself – the tweets are put up generally go unnoticed and are more for me than anything else. Nevertheless, I have greatly reduced my use of Twitter and stating looking for some alternatives (feel free to pass any good alternatives, if you know of any). I have also set up my own microblog so I can tweet “rattle” things of interest:

UtahRattles

Trust me, replacing the “r” with an “s” at the end took hours of forethought and is marketing genius…or something.

Anyway, why am I capping my Twitter content? It comes down to two items. First, Twitter has made it clear that it has no interest in open dialog with its embracing of the Social Justice Warrior movement and accompanying thugocracy under the guise of the Orwellian “Trust and Safety Council” which is giving conservatives the boot (they’re ruining the echo chamber!). Twitter’s abuse form now even includes “…in disagreement with my opinion”. Snowflakes, indeed. Therefore, as put by Ace, I’m engaging in my own easy embargo:

So I will promote my site on Twitter. I will use it, but I won’t let it use me. I will use it as a soulless corporate branding device and promotional platform. If I write something I like, or if i wish to use my decent reach to promote, I’ll do so.What I won’t do is provide them free content. Any platform requires content, after all. This site would be a much poorer experience were it not for the thousands of people commenting here, adding their own takes and opinions and diversions and links to stories.

It would just be one post from me or a coblogger every hour, and a lot of dead air.

That is what I intend to give twitter: A post I think deserves promotion, and then dead air.

What Twitter needs to be healthy, as any social media platform needs to be healthy, is a buzzy, vibrant atmosphere with lots of give and take. People agreeing with each other, people disagreeing with each other. And occasionally, the spectacle of a big fat fight and feud.

I’m not going to give them that any longer, partly because they’re SJW censors and bad people, and only want my speech only to the extent it advances their purposes.

So there you have it. The ‘Rattles site can be followed with your WordPress account, email, or RSS if you like. I’ll be posting everything there with along with an occasional tweet on Twitter.

The Offended Society: Killing Freedom To Think And Our Future

I was recently in a meeting dealing with improving education. One of the teachers present stated that it is increasingly difficult to create free thinkers who seek and speak truth when societal elements are so focused anything that might offend another (regardless if it is factual or not). The statement further confirmed something that has been grating at me for years.

The US is in a downward spiral of hypersensitive offense-mongering. It started decades ago with all the BS political correct terms we were told some groups needed to be labeled as to be sensitive to their feelings (from the “garbageman” job title had to a multitude of hyphenated balkanized groups). The constant drumbeat of finding offense (under the guise of “social justice warriors” aka SJWs) has grown exponentially to find us where we are today: a culture of censorship.

We see this offended censorship all over the place now. Twitter and Facebook are examples of this encroaching censorship of divergent viewpoints and inconvenient reporting (and those who defend them). Meanwhile, they simultaneously coddle extremist SJW-annointed classes even if they advocate for violence. Quiet censorship has even lead to new vocabulary: shadowbanning. The affinity for censorship has transcended the private companies and is found in the public/government sector and government carries the weight of force.

Universities used to be a hub of free thinking where ideas could be exchanged and developed and, just as important, challenged. Not so anymore.

Many universities’ leadership and advocacy groups are well known to detest conservatives and liked disrupting their speeches. The trend surpasses the college age and indoctrination is carried to the very young. Things are much worse now where those same leaders are finding their indoctrinated pupils they and their accomplices in the media etc created are turning on them. SJW snowflakes are the ones in need of “emotional support” when a Soviet labor camp survivor they disagree with treads on campus. Even the dining hall isn’t exempt from offense-seeking outrage…and don’t dare critique a Halloween costume choice!

The movement has “progressed” so well that it is now well enforced not just by censorship and personal retribution but also physical force. Whether it is a truck decal in Salt Lake City or a US Marine at McDonalds in Washington DC. Then there’s the personal destruction culminating in the suicide of a young girl.

Twitter/Facebook are private companies and can ban who-ever they please (I absolutely defend their right to do so) and based on their company leadership, I doubt much pressure had to be applied for their decisions. Whatever. The issue is these are information companies who’s mission is purported to be open discourse. They serve as a warning of what is going on in our society as a whole: an society that demands insulation from uncomfortable facts and beliefs, otherwise known as reality.

It seems everyone is out to find fault in the smallest misstatement or misstep. Sure if someone states something immoral/shocking and actually means it, they should be called out on that (within reason) and debated. Rather, people and the media seek to find and ‘interpret’ an offense no matter how innocent or inadvertent a statement may be…And to hell with debate, forgiveness, and potential redemption! We want full personal destruction!

Good grief. We seek perfection where there can be none. People screw up all the time, come up with piss-poor ideas and say things the wrong way constantly. Now we (especially the media) refuse the right to admit an innocent mistake/failure and fix it. Nope – it can never be undone or forgotten…or simply understood as ‘that came out the wrong way but I know what s/he meant’. Instead, we pretend we don’t know what they meant and savage them.

This may well be why politicians and leaders won’t admit error no matter how obvious it may be. We demand they don’t and they know they’ll be crucified and unforgiven regardless if they do so – particularly if it is a shift away from a mainstream media/SJW-demanded position. I see this behavior all over the political spectrum (likely due to the pervasiveness in media many grew up with) but it’s particularly acute with the progressive side.

Returning back to the teacher’s comment, the nature of this censorship and constant victimhood has noticibly seeped into children. Worse than propaganda and institutional censorship: self-censorship. Kids have been indoctrinated and bullied by society to be fearful to question, discuss, and discover truth. This is helping kill the foundations of our nation and future.

Please, get some thick skin, go out and say the wrong thing, screw stuff up, admit it, fix it, learn from it and grant others the same consideration. If truth is offensive, tough luck – embrace it. When someone is intentionally offensive, debate them, shrug and move on but don’t seek to snare them or destroy their ability to speak. Reject notions of being a victimyou are in control of you destiny do not cede it to others! Tell the offense-mongers to go to hell. Fearless truth and debate is the path to a healthy, growing society.

UPDATE (2/23): New reports of SJWs dutifully burying their heads in the sand with a side of dining hall outrage:
California State University Cancels Student Group’s Event Because Speaker Is Conservative
Chick-fil-A flap rocks another American university

UPDATE (2/24): Exfoliating is also a suspect behavior… Univ. of Wisconsin Students Publicly Shamed as ‘Racists’ by School Chancellor
Continue reading

Another Warning On Government Private Sector Intrusion (Davis Conference Center)

In 2009, I wrote up a brief post on the Davis County Commission having a fit about a pole dancing event at their tax-funded conference center. Back then I stated that, as far as I was concerned, it was tough luck because government involvement had turned the facility into a public venue without the right of service refusal found in private property*.

Looks like Dallas is dealing with something worse than a pole dancing event and as the blog author notes, they too can stuff it thanks to government involvement in the facility (Why Dallas is wrong to ban porn convention from city-owned property):

The problem is the convention IS guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution under the “right of the people to peacefully to assemble” in the First Amendment and Section 1 of the 14th Amendment under the “ No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. ” It’s not like the porn convention broke the law when it came to Dallas last year (something Dallas’ own police chief told the City Council)…

This also brings up another issue: the fact the convention center is owned by the city. It’s a legal grey area because there are fees groups have to pay before they’re allowed to host an event. If the convention center was private, there wouldn’t be a debate over the issue (and the convention organizers are suing) because it would be a contract between two private entities. The private owners of the convention center could say to the organizers, “No thanks, we don’t want your money, enjoy your refund,” and it’s doubtful a judge would rule against them because of due process in the 14th Amendment.

I recommend reading the post. The situation serves as yet another example of why government should stay out of things best left to the private sector

*Caveat: the right of service refusal on private property has been diminished in favor of certain politically-correct groups (especially if it involves wedding cakes). After all, some people are simply “more equal” than others…

LDS Church Firearm Policy And The New Reality

The LDS Church changed policy around a decade ago to ban guns within church buildings. As with most other gun-free zones, the policy realistically applies only to law-abiding citizens as criminals couldn’t care less about such things. Basically, gun-free zones typically equate to victim zones. Back then, the worst case outcome would likely be one or two victims from someone ‘settling a personal score’ or a score dead from an outright loony (such as in South Carolina).

Fast forward to today. With the San Bernardino and France terror attacks, we are well passed the loony killing and on to groups that will carefully seek out soft targets where they maximize victims. Carefully seeking out targets involves surveillance, reconnaissance, skillful planning/practice, and effective tactical execution. These are efforts well beyond those of the aforementioned loony/madman. Welcome to the new reality.

When it comes to security, the goal is always to harden your personal circumstance or facility to a higher level than those around you. You present a less appealing target so that plotters pick the one next door.

In Utah, LDS churches are “the one next door”. Without going into great detail, there are portions/times in the building that present a predictable, high density, virtually defenseless set of victims with poor means of egress (depending on attacker/device positioning – positioning which isn’t very hard to figure out). While victims will have egress problems, attackers will not and if a modicum of planning is performed, they will also have several avenues of movement to either evade capture or to the next target.

I would hope the church would review policies to become a less appealing target and enable members/visitors a fighting chance at survival. Ideally, another entity would become “the one next door”. In the meantime, it would be very wise for members to review the video (Recognizing 8 Signs of Terrorism) published by the Utah Department of Public Safety and carefully watch for the clues presented. Additionally, come up with a survival plan for various attack scenarios (hint: naively going with the instinctual “it will never happen here” is not a plan). Godspeed.

Utah Vote By Mail: No Secret Ballot

Last year, I noted how the decision to allow full vote-by-mail elections simplifies voter fraud.  This year, I noticed that we can kiss the secret ballot goodbye too.

As I was sealing my vote-by-mail envelope, I noticed that not only is my name/address etc on the outside of the envelope, but the envelope is not the secured kind (with the lines on the inside). Instead, it is a standard envelope that you can see through even without holding it up to the light.  Better yet, not only do I know who the envelope is from but I can see the ballot and what box (position/candidate) they filled in. Looks like any mail handler or individual who happens on one of these will now know how you voted.

While I understand this type of election saves money, it is paramount that elections prevent fraud and respect privacy to vote as one wishes. Entire vote-by-mail elections was a bad idea to begin with and this just doubles-down on that fact.

Voting Against The 2015 Davis School Bond

Since I can’t fit this in on a ‘tweet’ here’s why I’m not voting for the bond:

The school district seems to take it for granted that when they ask for money everyone just gives it to them (historically, voters have given them this perception).  There seems to be a lack of really justifying the funds and second look for deeper efficiencies. Specifically, the district (all districts I’m aware of, actually) always pay an architect to design a nice new building.  Why not get a set of three plans (which can be updated on a 10 – 20 year basis) where you pick plan A, B, or C for the school instead of a new design each time?  Nor do the designs need to be fancy (less cute, more functional, please). Then there’s also the administrative overhead that would be better spent in classrooms which I won’t go into due to time constraints.

As a side note, I don’t know who came up with the bond being ‘for the children’ but c’mon, today’s kids are the one’s who are going to be saddled with the costs of paying of the bond. Stop using kids to guilt trip people into slapping more burdens on those very children.

So I’ll vote against the bond in hopes that it is turned down and the district has to put a bit more thought in efficiency and new adaptive ideas for dealing with growth and regular operations, in general.