Having A “Normalcy Bias” Isn’t Abnormal; It Should Be…

If a presidential contender coming down an escalator announces to the world that he’s running for President because America needs a wall to keep out all the Mexican rapists — and everyone (after an initial burst of outrage) shrugs because they’re already consumed by that contender’s next outrage — somewhere inside that shrug was born their “Normalcy Bias”.  Calling Mexicans rapists went — within a sentence — from being an outrage to being… “normal”.

That’s just how Trump speaks, the MSM told us.  Racism?  No.   Poor word choice — yes.  And, just like that, the MSM had built absolute racism into its Normalcy Bias.  Racism was — IS — now completely legit.  Pussy-grabbing worked the exact same way.  A few moments of outrage tempered by the “timely” release of a Wikileaks dump — which, too, got NORMALIZED.  Shall we toss LYING onto the bonfire?

How quickly did the MSM normalized the fact that a president of the United States lied more reliably than he told the truth?  Though they knew what Trump was saying was a lie, still they continued to report each lie as if it WASN’T a lie and therefore had to be considered as possibly the truth.

Sorry, but a turd is a turd is a turd. Call it a “perfumed package” if you like or a “surprise” or even just “poo”.  It’s a turd.  It stinks.  It has to be cleaned up.  Making it “palatable” while making it “do-able” also makes it “palatable”.  Maybe it shouldn’t be.

What our MSM can’t seem to grasp is how badly THEY are being fooled every day by their own Normalcy Bias.  When, say, you know going into a (rare) press conference that the Press Secretary is going to lie to you — and then you LET HER LIE & (worse) let her GET AWAY WITH IT, you are further solidifying HER Normalcy Bias that she CAN get away with just about every time.  What’s the cost of lying?  Nothing.

Normalcy Bias is no one’s friend.   It’s comfort with what is even if “what is” is utter bullshit. Normalcy Bias is how that frog slowly gets boiled to death without ever realizing it.

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What EXACTLY Do Conservatives Want To ‘Conserve’?

I’ve asked this before but haven’t gotten an answer yet… I know what Progressives want to PROGRESS toward: as much equality as possible for as many people as soon as possible.  Progressives want to progress in any we they can toward a level playing field where every American has the best possible chance to contribute as much as they possibly can to America while benefiting as much as they can.

Progressives want America to be as diverse as possible because they know that DIVERSITY is what makes America Exceptional.

Progressives want America to PROGRESS — just like it says in our name.  We want America to PROGRESS into THE FUTURE.

Okay, conservatives, we showed you ours, now show us yours:  What do Conservatives want to CONSERVE?  And how will conserving THAT get us anywhere NEAR our FUTURE?  To judge by republican policies and Trumpian attitudes, conservatives want to conserve the worst of America:  Its racism, its misogyny.  Its bigotry and willful ignorance.

Republicans want to conserve White Christian Male Culture.

Now, that’s easy for me to say — a progressive shithead but, for shits n giggles, I recommend finding a conservative friend — if you still have any — and ask them, point blank:  “Dude — what is it exactly you’re trying to conserve anyway?”  After they try to avoid answering, listen carefully.  They won’t say anything logical or even intelligible.  That’s the point.

Their simple answer is “How it WAS.”  Meaning, ‘How it was when WHITE PEOPLE ruled the world’.

The real joke of it is, White People really do believe the World is ‘far better’ when their Wonder Bread tastes and judgments rule everything and diversity is held at bay.  White People think they have a choice regarding the Future — and who ‘peoples’ it.

Shouldn’t someone tell them what happens to people in the MINORITY when the MAJORITY decides to treat them unfairly?

Oh well — Live and learn…

What Tribalism IS & ISN’T

Our illustrious, observant MSM points out a lot these days how TRIBAL we’ve all become (and how ‘it’s both sides’ fault that we HAVE become so tribal).

As I’m fond of saying on these pages here, if you start from a place of BULLSHIT, you will only ever see BULLSHIT in front of you.  And THAT is top shelf, Grade AAA BULLSHIT.

No, both sides don’t do it.  Both sides are tribal and experience tribalism but not all tribalism is created equal.

Allow me to throw down a metaphor to illustrate:  In my time I have been an ardent Lakers Fan.  During the Kobe Bryant Championship Years, my friends loved to watch the playoff games with me at my house because regardless of how entertaining (or not entertaining) the game itself might be — I was going to put on one hell of a show.  I’m passionate.  At the time, I lived and breathed Lakers.  There were Angelenos who shared my passion and Angelenos who didn’t give a shit and even Angelenos who supported that ‘other’ LA team — the Clippers (and this was during the Donald Sterling ownership days so the Clippers were easy to hate though they were perennial underdogs).

If a tragedy had befallen Los Angeles back then — an earthquake, say (we get those here) — my intense Lakers Tribalism would have been subsumed into Being An Angeleno.  My larger tribe would have taken precedence over my smaller, more local ‘allegiance’.  Logic (and survival instinct) would have dictated it.

Tribalism is natural to any sentient being who sees companionship in another sentient being.  What happens when you add a THIRD sentient being to the mix — that’s what determines how the future tribes in that grouping will play out.  Unless, of course, both sentient beings — and then their third — are all EXACTLY ALIKE.  If THAT’S the case then we’re talking less ‘a tribe’ and more ‘automatons’.  Or maybe just a ‘Tribe’ of ‘Automatons’

Republicans.

Because we live in a ‘Both Sides Do It’ media culture, the assumption is that BOTH KINDS OF ‘TRIBALISM’ ARE EXACTLY ALIKE.  But are they?  Let’s compare —

REPUBLICAN TRIBALISM:  Makeup of Tribe: White, Christian Men principally.  The tribe’s rules & regs are designed to keep White, Christian Male Culture front and center — to keep it as THE DOMINANT CULTURE regardless of the fact that it no longer represents THE MAJORITY of the people in the culture.  In other words, Republican Tribalism seems bent on imposing ITS dying, no longer relevant, completely EXCLUSIVE culture onto the LARGER Culture.

DEMOCRATIC TRIBALISM:  Makeup of Tribe:  Everyone Else.  White, black, brown, Asian, Native American, male, female, LGBTQ, rich, poor, American or willing-to-risk-your-life-to-BECOME-an-American.

When your ‘TRIBE’ is everyone who ISN’T WHITE, CHRISTIAN, MALE?  It means YOUR ‘tribalism’ isn’t quite the same as THE WHITE GUY’S ‘tribalism’.

If DIVERSITY is a ‘tribe’?  Include me in its numbers.  More importantly, where do I send my check so I can get my ‘Membership Card’?

 

 

If Bullshit Had A ‘Hall Of Fame’…

Bullshit comes with being Human.  We don’t know yet if Bullshit comes with being sentient; do other animals capable of conscious thought LIE to each other when necessary?  Why would we assume they didn’t?

I’m just saying — Lying and Bullshit seem so natural to us that it could be an organic outgrown of having a ‘sense of self’, an imperative to protect that ‘self’ from harm, and an impulse to alter the Truth in order to protect from harm.

Lie to a dog — about whether or not you’ll give it a treat — and you’ll see a mind grappling with bullshit.  Ever watch a Nature Program where a pack of wild dogs hunt?  It’s all about deception — that’s the nature of setting a trap:  the trapped think safety lies in one direction when it doesn’t.  It’s the creation of a legitimate fear for a bullshit reason (‘Run THIS way not THAT or you’ll get eaten).  Next thing you know — you’re eaten.

Bullshit is powerful stuff used on the fly.

It’s even MORE powerful when given time to ‘cure’ like concrete.  Just like concrete, as BULLSHIT hardens, it becomes more difficult to destroy.  After a while — if it continues to stand, it becomes foundational — a thing that’s always been so it must be true…

Today’s Featured Player – “THE PROTOCOLS OF THE ELDERS OF ZION”…

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First published in Russia in 1903, the ‘Protocols’ want you to believe that a bunch of Jews got together and — having already planned World Domination — decided to get it all down in writing (bad writing).  It ain’t even a good story.

If you really want to hate another group of people, please, Anti-Semites, have a little self-respect.  Just go and hate.  Don’t try to embellish with nonsense like this — it’s ‘unbecoming’…

C’mon, Jew-Haters — if you’re really THAT into hating Jews, why would you need an excuse?  Isn’t your capacity to hate good enough for you?  You need Bullshit Reasons for hating?

Chrissakes — don’t tell me even Bigotry has been wrecked by the Age of Trump…

Drip… Drip… Drip… How Authoritarianism Works

The most frustrating arguments I have these days aren’t with Trumpanistas.  They’re with people completely on ‘our side’.

The question isn’t ‘Is Donald Trump the worst thing (aside from slavery) that ever happened to America?’  The question is why are so many ‘informed’, progressive people so reluctant to fully embrace — and act upon — a simple, empirical fact?

Why are they so reluctant when their whole way of life is threatened.  Not make believe threatened — For Real, No-Shit, No-Kidding Threatened.  The kind you look back upon afterward and ask yourself, ‘Gee, considering how clearly and obviously threatened we were, why didn’t someone do something?’  That someone would be YOU, pal — and the why is YOU NORMALIZED THE THREAT.

The steady ‘Drip-Drip-Drip’ of Normalization.  It is DEADLY.

Remember the feelings of outrage you felt over the words Donald Trump spoke about Mexicans on DAY ONE of his campaign?  He said that about human beings he didn’t know, about AMERICANS (many of them) — hard-working, patriotic Americans.

The moment we didn’t stop what was happening and insist that Donald Trump’s campaign to be POTUS end right there, right then — he had us.  It was over.  We had just ACCEPTED — and therefore NORMALIZED overt racism and bigotry.  It poked its nose into the Commonweal’s tent — saw no resistance — and so came right in and made itself at home.

When we next ACCEPTED ‘Pussy-Grabbing’ as ‘Just how this candidate talks about women‘ — we were gone, gone, gone.  Now it was more than HALF THE POPULATION whose DEBASEMENT we ACCEPTED and NORMALIZED.

Authoritarians need the mob BEHIND THEM, not opposing them for this reason and that reason.  Divide & Conquer is so basic even bad dictators usually get that one right.  Donald Trump certainly did.

Donald Trump managed to get the wishes & desires of 16% of the American population — yeah, as a percentage of the whole American Population, that’s the sum total of hard core Trumpanistas.  Throw in the fact that — with the assistance of Russia and Cynical RW White Christian Male Money — Election 2016 was fraudulent top to bottom and you get the recipe for an Authoritarian soft coup just the way the chefs drew it up.

Each little drip was bad enough.  But those drips add up.  Like now — into a whole trough FILLED with Malicious, Un-Democratic Intent.  And the ‘Coffee Maker’ looks and smells like it’s about to explode.

Fer Christ’s Sake — Can we PLEASE turn the ‘coffee maker’ off before it shorts out and burns the whole house down?

 

It’s Harder Than It Looks Being A Civilized Country

This happened in a country the world thinks of as among its most civilized.  Clearly, the World is a terrible judge of character.

ICE has taken — AND LOST TRACK OF — nearly 1500 immigrant children from their parents at the border.  According to PBS, some have even been sold to known HUMAN TRAFFICKERS.

For shame, America.  For shame.

ICE is EVIL

 

https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/26/politics/hhs-lost-track-1500-immigrant-children/index.html

Indeed — it’s harder than it looks to be a civilized country.  And we are nowhere near up to the task at present