On Our Discourse

This is very much worth your time to read. From my social media feeds, I’m seeing a lot more virtue signaling about hate than I am debate over gun control.  That’s should be a good thing. Who likes hate? But it’s all coming from people who do some pretty impressive hate mongering for anyone who disagrees with them on an hourly basis. There are nazis on every street corner, you see. Trump is responsible for each and every one of them! If you voted for Trump, so are you!

In other words, more than half of my Shabbat morning congregants, and in some more traditional synagogues, almost all of them, should have the doors barred against their entry. Jews who make minyans, pay shiva calls, underwrite nursing homes and kindergartens—people who make Judaism possible, with their flawed but real human presence, for other people—should be cast out of our midst because of the levers they pull in the privacy of a voting booth. And what, after all, would a Jew who fled from Iran know about anti-Semitism—or protecting the Jewish community?

Donald Trump is neither a devil or an angel. He is not Hitler, and fascism is not descending on America. I am becoming more convinced this madness is being driven by Baby Boomers who, as a whole, were never properly socialized for social media. I’ve been participating in online communities almost since there were online communities. You have to learn the pitfalls. People are not instinctively wired to interact in this medium.

I do know people my age who are being driven mad by the algorithms, and I know plenty of Boomers who have enough self-awareness necessary to put it in context or just stay away from it. But generationally, Boomers seem to have fewer tools to cope.

Social media is total poison. Even the dealers know it. I have to embrace Social Media to cultivate an audience these days. My motivation to keep doing that, in case you can’t tell, diminishes with the day. I must pay homage to the gatekeepers. They are the first to tell me, daily. Pay us money, and you can access your audience. Once upon a time I earned my audience without transfer payments to Silicon Valley. Not anymore. I won’t pay them, but I pay for it with reduced traffic.

22 thoughts on “On Our Discourse”

  1. I have read of the accusation that Trump “triggered” this attack because he blamed George Soros , a Jew, for funding the caravan. It is a stretch and basically calls for hecklers veto. It ignores the agency of people That they are responsible for their actions . The young fool David Hogg said not go after the perpetrators of the evil but the source Otherwise those that support Trump and are pro gun.

    The Jew blaming for the Jew killing is new to me But I am only slightly surprised. It is a variant of we are evil because we support Trump

    Kurt Schlicter thinks it will blow up in the ballot box https://townhall.com/columnists/kurtschlichter/2018/10/29/democrats-blaming-normal-americans-for-nuts-will-blow-up-in-their-faces-at-the-ba-n2532786

  2. “I do know people my age who are being driven mad by the algorithms, and I know plenty of Boomers who have enough self-awareness necessary to put it in context or just stay away from it. But generationally, Boomers seem to have fewer tools to cope.”

    Boomer here. Not seeing it, but I will admit that my adult children have a different toolset than mine. We both sometimes find ourselves reacting in ways that are not constructive; but the triggering stimuli, and our respective reactions, are different.

  3. It’s instructive that neither of my teenagers have the least interest in social media. They’ve got private chat groups with their friends, play video games and generally ignore the social media world.

      1. I would argue that it’s only good news to some degree. Private friend circles, while certainly needed in life, are still ways to keep yourself very insulated from the world around you and learning to work with others who think and live differently. They need to be encouraged to get out and join real world groups and activities with others with whom they might have only the smallest of common threads.

        Unfortunately, the parents of teens are from a generation that doesn’t do that or really know how to do it. (I can’t tell you how many posts come up monthly in a group of alums from my alma mater that complain they don’t know how meet people in a new area and don’t know how to find or join community groups outside of direct politics.)

        I saw a bit about why some 18-29 year olds who admit they aren’t voting in the midterms are deciding not to do it yesterday. While some cited general frustration of not getting exactly their way all the time, others said that the idea of doing something like mailing in an absentee ballot gives them great anxiety because they don’t want to interact with people at a post office or have to make a decision by a deadline. So I think there’s a balance needed in “keeping to themselves” as a good thing. Like any extreme, it can lead to other problems.

  4. ” Not anymore. I won’t pay them, but I pay for it with reduced traffic.”

    Amen to that. I still keep coming here. As long as you are active, I will find you.

  5. I don’t know about gaining new readers, but my bookmark for this site still says “Snowflakes in Hell”. Been a daily visitor for a while :)

  6. “Donald Trump is neither a devil or an angel. He is not Hitler, and fascism is not descending on America.”

    I’m sure you have enough self-awareness to realize that you are virtually required to believe that, because if it proves not to be true, it was people like yourself who had a material hand in empowering a fascist (or at minimum, an autocrat in training to become a fascist) and bringing fascism to North America. Of course if that happens, you will deny that fascism is fascism, because your autocrat and his acolytes will have failed to fulfill one or two aspects of “fascism” that someone wrote into a definition of it in 1923.

    Fascism is in re-ascendancy worldwide. Jair Bolsonaro was just elected in Brazil. Hungary is already fascist, and of course so is Russia. Poland may be considered to be in a position of trying to defend itself against fascism, as is Austria.

    This morning Donald Trump opined that he could override an amendment to the constitution via executive order. Yes, for the moment that may only be showmanship, but it also clearly reflects his own wishful thinking and that of his supporters. Lindsey Graham, his special toady in congress, offered that if Trump couldn’t do it by executive order, he would do it with (unconstitutional) legislation. Of course it won’t be unconstitutional, if a packed Supreme Court says it isn’t.

    I would expect my fellow Second Amendment supporters to find something threatening about such ideas, but then, I haven’t understood them since the day Trump came down that escalator raving about Mexican rapists. So I guess they have to define fascism as not-fascism, and themselves as strict constitutionalists, and so hardly to blame for it, whatever it is called. “Patriotism” maybe?

        1. Ah, c’mon. Stop demeaning trolls. If I were trolling I could do a lot better than that!

          But I guess I’m a troll in the same sense that the boy in the “Emperor’s New Clothes” fable was a troll. When the evidence of the kid’s senses didn’t agree with what everyone around him claimed to be seeing, he said so.

          What I am is a gun rights advocate who couldn’t quite get how endorsing and empowering a fascist was going to be the ticket to individual liberty, and who is not afraid to say I don’t get it. I expect nothing but the worst outcomes to result.

          And lest anyone be too offended by the use of the term fascist, I’ll paraphrase that candidate in Florida and say, I’m not saying Trump is a fascist, I’m just saying that all the actual professing fascists think he’s a fascist. Presumably they should know.

          1. Actually all the “professing fascists” hate Trump and accuse him of being a tool of the ‘jewish conspiracy’.

            On the other hand we have the broad frontal attack on the Constitution from the Democratic Party, a campaign which preceded Trump and which shows every sign of persisting after Trump.

            The obvious attacks on the 2nd Amendment too numerous to mention.

            The attacks on the 1st Amendment, such as the attempt to repeal and replace the 1st Amendment with the “Udall Amendment”.

            All the new talk about “packing the Supreme Court”.

            The twisting of law-enforcement to suppress political opposition, as with the “Attorney Generals United for Clean Power”. Or how AG Healey of MA bypassed the legislature with her invention of new gun crimes she “discovered” in decades old legislation.

            How about how Democratic Mayors in San Jose and Portland have held back police so that masked left-wing mobs can run riot destroying property and beating people on the street?

            If fascism is coming to America, I can see which Party is pushing that poison. And it isn’t Trump and the Republicans.

            1. “Actually all the ‘professing fascists’ hate Trump and accuse him of being a tool of the ‘jewish conspiracy’”

              All? Really? Name, oh, I dunno, six?

              Better yet: Name more than examples that can be found of white supremacists and neo-Nazis in multiple photos partying with people wearing MAGA hats and T-shirts.

              Purest coincidence, I’m sure.

    1. Oh yeah, you sooo care about the 2nd Amendment. You probably voted for Hillary.

      About the only thing I can count on from you is reflexive knee-jerk extremist Democratic Party partisanship. Not support of gun rights.

      And here we go with your accusation of the rise of “fascism” because of Republicans. Because Republicans are the people you are really aiming at, not Trump. Your Trump whining is just your lead in of your “indictment” of those ‘proto-fascists’ who dared to stop Hillary by voting for Trump.

  7. Never ceases to amaze me how many people screaming about fascism have absolutely no idea that fascism is a leftist ideology. Fewer still realize that the origins of antifa (anti-fascist s) were actually to left of the fascists. That is they had the same base ideology, but were INTERnational socialists instead of just national socialists. In other words Nazis were, in period, called right wing by some, but only because the people calling them that were even farther left ( omission). Antifa are essentially NAZIs amped up and minus the patriotism.

    1. Oh, they know Fascism & National Socialism are leftist collectivist ideologies. Most simply do their damnedest to obfuscate the fact when that broad brush they’re using to $#!+smear their opposition turns around and slops it all over them.

  8. Did not realize your traffic was down.

    Thank your for your blog. You are still on my daily list (still listed a Snowflake in Hell). Thank you for your posting. I appreciate your perspectives on many subjects, you frequently have a “different” perspective on many subjects. I particularly enjoy your views on different generational viewpoints on shooting and club membership/operations/control. I must admit your posts regarding the laws regarding the sale of wine in Penn are usually skimmed over. :-)

    Again thank you for your time/work and bandwidth.

    1. I actually haven’t checked in a while. It’s not so much total volume, it’s that I’m much much more dependent on social media than I used to be. And I don’t like that.

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