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Just another day at the outrage mine

If America is so rich and powerful, why doesn’t everything go our way?

Whatever the reason, it doesn’t. Part of the problem might be how the government is run compared to, say, the Space Program. I was very impressed with the two books by Halperin and Heilemann on the 2008 and 2012 elections. One takeaway from those books is that the folks who run for president, even the team that wins, are not these quintessential professionals, always in control and never surprised. In fact, a presidential race is more of a circus than a campaign and luck plays a role.

Extending what I learned about people trying to become the government to the government itself, it should not be surprising that the government itself is surprised by what happens sometimes, and that things really don’t go right (from our point of view). I remember back at screw-up after screw-up across every administration. Remember the Bay of Pigs or the Mayaguez incident?

On top of things not going right, there are those who do everything they can to make things look worse than they are and to make others angry and resentful about it (see Fox News Network).

This morning I was over at Birther Report from a link in comments here to a throw-away article by Adrien Nash quoting Apuzzo. After 10 innuendos in a row, I quit reading the article, but I did scroll through some comments and there were a lot of them, and they were angry—mostly about made-up things. One angry comment was about Obama taking away our guns. That’s not what I know anecdotally, so I thought I would verify my impression, and sure enough Smith & Wesson revenues last year were at record levels. Here’s the chart:

Gun sales are real, but the rhetoric about America hating Obama, while strident on the Internet, is not playing out in practice, with only a few dozen people showing up for a Internet-promoted protest when Obama spoke at the UC Irvine commencement yesterday.

While the Impeach Obama crowd have a lot of Internet presence, they don’t seem to be all that motivated in real life and it’s important to me when I read these “foaming at the mouth” articles to keep them in context. The challenge is to recognize a real signal in the background noise.

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27 Responses to Just another day at the outrage mine

  1. avatar
    Pastor Charmley June 15, 2014 at 10:07 am #

    Considering the question of why most of the conspiracists do nothing but talk, I think part of the reason is that much of Conspiracism is a form of the old Gnostic heresy of salvation by mere intellectual assent. It is enough to KNOW the secret knowledge, it is not intended to be put into practice. Now I will admit to being old-fashioned, if the government is a tyranny, one ought to set in motion a plot to bring it down, one should not merely sit there talking about it.

    On the other hand there is still the tremendous disconnect between believing that the government is a police state willing to eliminate any and all who get in its way and the fact that it lets you say that without actually killing you.

  2. avatar
    Curious George June 15, 2014 at 10:29 am #

    President Obama’s support for the international Small Arms Trade Treaty, along with various efforts directed toward more gun control and gun bans by the states of New York, California, Connecticut and Colorado have all stimulated national gun sales in my opinion. Gun companies are manufacturing product at an unbelievable pace from what I’m told. Gun owners may not hate President Obama but they may fear his policies. Real or perceived, fear is a great motivator. In this case, gun sales.

  3. avatar
    Suranis June 15, 2014 at 10:48 am #

    Not exactly, but I don’t doubt they have acted as a catalyst. The real reason is elucidated in this article I read yesterday

    http://www.salon.com/2014/06/13/nras_really_big_problem_why_its_dependent_on_a_dwindling_fringe/

    I’ll quote it

    All this occurs against a backdrop that, when the industry and the NRA talk amongst themselves, they’re very open about, but rarely do they concede it when making public statements. And that’s a fact that gun ownership in the U.S. is on a steady decline. In 1977, 54 percent of American households had a gun in them. By 2012, that number had dropped to 34 percent. … So what the industry is faced with is the fact that gun owners are aging; they’re dying off. And the constant pressure [the NRA] faces is two-fold. One is, how do you resell current gun owners? And the second is, how do you market to, for lack of a better phrase, “replacement shooters”? Just like the tobacco industry [has "replacement smokers"].

    Basically, the industry has to keep the people that own guns buying guns to keep up their profits and there are less and less of them so they have to mount up the pressure on the customers they have left. And the only way to do that is to make the guns they have seem inadequate. So they turn up the lethality of the guns they are marketing and the fearful idiots line up. that’s the function of the NRA, to keep people scared, so they can buy the guns.

    They were screaming that Obama was going to take everyone’s guns long before he attempted to get congress to pass a background check law. Obama could have gone hunting deer with the entire NRA leadership and they would still be doing it. The fact that Obama attempted something just means that they have something concrete to fill the fear literature that they would be creating anyway.

    Curious George: President Obama’s support for ,,, have all stimulated national gun sales in my opinion.

  4. avatar
    Suranis June 15, 2014 at 11:19 am #

    And yeah. my spelling sucks.

  5. avatar
    Curious George June 15, 2014 at 12:09 pm #

    Suranis,
    “And, yeah. my spelling sucks.”

    It’s that dad blamed auto correct function. ;-)

  6. avatar
    Curious George June 15, 2014 at 12:34 pm #

    Speaking about dad blamed……..Happy Father’s Day!

  7. avatar
    Paper June 15, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

    And to avoid Rage Lung.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coalworker's_pneumoconiosis

    Dr. Conspiracy:

    Just another day at the outrage mine…

    The challenge is to recognize a real signal in the background noise.

  8. avatar
    CarlOrcas June 15, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

    Pastor Charmley: Now I will admit to being old-fashioned, if the government is a tyranny, one ought to set in motion a plot to bring it down, one should not merely sit there talking about it.

    For the rational that requires that the government actually be tyrannical….evil.

    But for the irrational it only requires that the person’s diseased mind believes it is so……as we just saw in Las Vegas.

  9. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 15, 2014 at 6:34 pm #

    I think I’m going to refrain from commenting at Birther Report for a while. They’re having a long hot summer over there and maybe keeping a safe distance is in order.

  10. avatar
    CarlOrcas June 15, 2014 at 6:43 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    I think I’m going to refrain from commenting at Birther Report for a while. They’re having a long hot summer over there and maybe keeping a safe distance is in order.

    Smart man.

  11. avatar
    Steve June 15, 2014 at 6:46 pm #

    Curious George:
    President Obama’s support for the international Small Arms Trade Treaty, along with various efforts directed toward more gun control and gun bansby the states of New York, California, Connecticut and Colorado have all stimulated national gun sales in my opinion. Gun companies are manufacturing product at an unbelievable pace from what I’m told.Gun owners may not hate President Obama but they may fear his policies.Real or perceived, fear is a great motivator.In this case, gun sales.

    What the treaty actually is and what the gun nuts in this country think it is are two different things.

  12. avatar
    Foggy June 15, 2014 at 7:24 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    I think I’m going to refrain from commenting at Birther Report for a while. They’re having a long hot summer over there and maybe keeping a safe distance is in order.

    I quit posting comments at Birther Report 8 days ago. I’m very much looking forward to getting my 30-day chip. :D

    I heard they miss me terribly. Boo hoo.

  13. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 15, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

    Perhaps I should start an abstinence education program.

    Foggy: I quit posting comments at Birther Report 8 days ago. I’m very much looking forward to getting my 30-day chip

  14. avatar
    Comrade Fogovich June 15, 2014 at 8:42 pm #

    I stayed through evil, and stupid, and insane. But now they’re just boring.

    I don’t do boring. :neutral:

  15. avatar
    CarlOrcas June 15, 2014 at 8:49 pm #

    Comrade Fogovich:
    I stayed through evil, and stupid, and insane. But now they’re just boring.

    I don’t do boring.

    Yes!! That’s where it got to for me also.

  16. avatar
    Rickey June 15, 2014 at 9:06 pm #

    Steve: What the treaty actually is and what the gun nuts in this country think it is are two different things.

    I know people on Facebook who argue, “When you take guns away from good guys, only bad guys will have guns.” To which I reply, “Who is advocating taking guns away from good guys?”

    While I’m sure that there are some people who would like to ban guns, I can’t think of a single serious politician who takes that position. It’s a classic Straw Man argument.

  17. avatar
    Keith June 15, 2014 at 10:10 pm #

    Comrade Fogovich:
    I stayed through evil, and stupid, and insane. But now they’re just boring.

    I don’t do boring.

    That seems to be my path through “Above Top Secret”. I used to scour it for laughs at least once a day. Now I don’t look at it for months at a time. It is just so mind-numbingly predictable. Sorting the noise, chaff, smoke, inane, insane, and other garbage to find that one comment in 100 that is worth reading let alone replying to is downright life-threatening, I reckon.

    Maybe one day every person on the planet will have filtered through and learned the difference between cosmological evolution, geological evolution, abiogenesis, and biological evolution, though somehow I doubt it.

  18. avatar
    Dave June 15, 2014 at 10:39 pm #

    I have sometimes considered writing “A Wingnut’s Guide to the Sciences You Hate” so they could at least correctly name the science they are hating at the moment. But what good would it do, since they would never read it.

    Keith:

    Maybe one day every person on the planet will have filtered through and learned the difference between cosmological evolution, geological evolution, abiogenesis, and biological evolution, though somehow I doubt it.

  19. avatar
    JPotter June 16, 2014 at 8:20 am #

    The S&W revenues do track the election cycle quite nicely (peaks in ’08 and ’12, valley in ’10). I imagine other gunmakers’ would reflect the same trend. Looks like wingnut gunbuyers had little faith that Romney would save them. Or were lefties arming up against the potential outbreak in “laissez faire” capitalism an Obama loss might have unleashed? ;)

    Comrade Fogovich:
    I stayed through evil, and stupid, and insane. But now they’re just boring.

    I don’t do boring.

    They kicked me, and I’m too lazy to do a workaround. I went out a bang, spurring BR Bob into a swearing fit. That was satisfying enough for me :D

  20. avatar
    Georgetown JD June 16, 2014 at 11:50 pm #

    Comrade Fogovich:
    I stayed through evil, and stupid, and insane. But now they’re just boring.

    I don’t do boring.

    And stupid. I’m allergic to boring and stupid. I lost interest in that cesspool months ago.

  21. avatar
    Curious George June 17, 2014 at 7:02 am #

    Comrade Fogovich:
    “I stayed through evil, and stupid, and insane. But now they’re just boring.

    I don’t do boring.”

    They are a huge waste of time. It gets old watching people run around in circles within circles. Their news recycle machine is always running. B-O-R-I-N-G.

  22. avatar
    Arthur June 17, 2014 at 7:30 am #

    Breaking! Possible video of bird boy! White old man rifle rage:

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/joseph-houseman-police-standoff

    I’m betting this guy’s a birther.

  23. avatar
    Comrade Fogovich June 17, 2014 at 8:11 am #

    Birther Report is pimping a statute that prescribes the death penalty for helping the enemy. But who is “the enemy” in a war that ended for America three years ago?

    Is “the enemy” anyone birthers dislike?

  24. avatar
    The Magic M June 17, 2014 at 11:00 am #

    Comrade Fogovich: Is “the enemy” anyone birthers dislike?

    Hasn’t that always been the case for RWNJ’s (of which birthers are but a small fraction)?

    Just look at the #Benghaaaaaaazi nutjobs – even if they were right, “lying to the public about what caused the attack” is not treason, not by a long shot. Yet they claim the opposite.

    I didn’t follow how many left-wingers called for GWB to be hanged for treason, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t start until Obama took office and suddenly calling for the lynching of a black man became fashionable again.

  25. avatar
    Dave June 17, 2014 at 11:24 pm #

    BR has been pushing that statute for a while, starting with a post that called for Obama’s execution right in the title.

    The statute is completely inapplicable — e.g. besides the issue you bring up, there’s the fact that it’s from UCMJ — but what do birthers care about that. They’re just making it up as they go along anyhow.

    Comrade Fogovich:
    Birther Report is pimping a statute that prescribes the death penalty for helping the enemy.

  26. avatar
    Benji Franklin June 18, 2014 at 11:30 am #

    Pastor Charmley: Now I will admit to being old-fashioned, if the government is a tyranny, one ought to set in motion a plot to bring it down, one should not merely sit there talking about it.

    Vattel’s Law of Nations (commonly so-called) Book One Chapter Three:

    § 32. It may reform the government.

    “If any nation is dissatisfied with the public administration, it may apply the necessary remedies, and reform the government. But observe that I say “the nation;” for I am very fat from meaning to authorize a few malcontents or incendiaries to give disturbance to their governors by exciting murmurs and seditions. None but the body of a nation have a right to check those at the helm when they abuse their power. When the nation is silent and obeys, the people are considered as approving the conduct of their superiors, or at least finding it supportable; and it is not the business of a small number of citizens to put the state in danger, under the pretense of reforming it.”

    Attention Birthers!:

    This is OUR country, meaning that it belongs to ALL of us. It does not belong to any one faction of our people. The Founders intended that we should respect all parts of the Constitution, with any disputes about the Constitution’s meaning, being settled by the judiciary.

    Nothing could be more contrary to what the Founders intended, than that ANY and / or ALL and / or EVERY Constitutional provision they put in place, could be overturned or ignored by a faction of our citizens who simply declare that THEY get to have the FINAL SAY, in determining what any provision of the Constitution means in application, including specifically dictating to all three branches of our government, how much discretion in decision-making that branch Constitutionally has, and how the “limits” and “obligations” of that discretion require the officers of that branch to perform their duties.

    That is what Birthers do. It is THEY who are the usurpers. They usurp the Constitutional power of the judiciary to settle disputes about what the Constitution means, including interpreting what previous judicial opinions on the subject mean, AND IMPORTANTLY, interpreting what the Constitution minimally REQUIRES of the judiciary and/or maximally ALLOWS them to do, relative to a given issue.

    So when the judiciary ultimately decides to not decide a particular issue, they are not neglecting their duty; they have decided that they can best serve the people and the nation regarding that particular issue at that time by leaving it as is.

    Birthers call the court traitors etc. for not deciding issues in the Birther’s favor; they are merely recasting the official, legal and legitimate rejection of their demands, as something un-Constitutional. And yes, these are the same Constitution ignoring crybabies who falsely claim that a citizen’s Constitiutional 1st Amendment RIGHT TO PETITION the Government for a redress of grievances, IS INSTEAD an obligation on the part of the government to yield to any complaining citizen’s interpretation of the Constitution or statutory law or case law, and satisfy that citizen’s demands for “corrective” action (redress).

    The plain fact is that the Constitution, through its established government and its laws, has listened and responded to the Birthers just as intended by the Founders. The Constitution has decisively told the Birthers that they are wrong about Obama being ineligible to the Presidency.

    Their rejection of that rule of law of the real Constitution demonstrates the fact that they don’t really love, OUR country when it runs as intended by the Founders. They want the United States to be something less, more to their liking. That’s why so many of them pine for a return to the time before a particular Constitutional provision was enforced in EVERYONE’S INTEREST, by saying “I want my country back!”

    Sorry, Birthers. OUR country, the one that INDIVISIBLY belongs to ALL of us, is here to stay.

    But cheer up, BR! Vattel goes on to say that if a handful of malcontents don’t wish to live under what they view as oppression, they can sell everything they own and GET THE HELL OUT OF THE COUNTRY!

    So Birthers, get the Hell out of OUR country and go start your OWN country!

  27. avatar
    Thomas Brown June 18, 2014 at 10:27 pm #

    Now there’s a rant. Huzzah for BFranklin!