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Archive for the category “In Our Own Biased Opinion”

An Unhumble Opinion

Jef Rouner hates opinions. Well, maybe not quite. I’ll let him explain it:

I spend far more time arguing on the Internet than can possibly be healthy, and the word I’ve come to loath more than any other is “opinion”. Opinion, or worse “belief”, has become the shield of every poorly-conceived notion that worms its way onto social media.

Skeptical-HippoI share the desire for a better-informed public. But people have been ill-informed, emotional, and downright irrational about public policy issues for long time. The Greeks killed Socrates and the Romans allowed Jesus to be crucified. Mr. Rouners’s side of the political fence is the one who believes the solution to this problem is to encourage or force the uninterested portion of the populace to vote at a higher rate.

I could do without Mr. Rouner’s self-congratulation on his intellectual prowess and superiority. There’s certainly nothing wrong with taking a strong interest in public policy. I do the same. But not everyone shares that interest, and wants to spend the time researching public policy questions so they can wax eloquent on their positions. Most people just want to take care of their kids, or go hunting and fishing, or read science fiction, or even pray, rather than maniacally following the shenanigans of a bunch of maniacs in Washington, DC. But sometimes they still get asked questions by pollsters, or read an article that seems off to them, and want to state their opinion. Only a jerk angrily rants at them for not having a detailed point paper to back up the quick calculation of their gut, heart, and brain.

And while his pet peeve is the half-informed trying to temper their statements with “that’s just my opinion”, my pet peeve is liberals posturing in a way that makes it seem as if their opinions have the backing of facts. Let me use your Rouner’s example to explain: Read more…

No One’s On the Right Side of #GamerGate

No one’s on the ‘right side’ of #GamerGate, because there is no right side of #GamerGate.

Here’s what #GamerGate is:

Atari, Nintendo, Game Boy, X-Box, Playstation 4Tired of agenda-driven journalism (I know, welcome to the club), thousands of gamers aggregated on various message boards and comment threads to lash out at the ‘game media.’ This collective outrage by thousands of autonomous gamers is loosely connected by the hashtag #GamerGate.

One of the agendas they are tired of is the leftwing feminist agenda. So when female game developer Zoe Quinn was accused of sleeping around to get better media coverage for her game, and as self-proclaimed feminist and video game critic Anna Sarkeesian used her YouTube channel to continue blasting video games for being hostile to women, things reached a tipping point, and these two women became the focal points of the backlash.

Some of the backlash has been foul. Anna Sarkeesian claims she received rape and death threats that caused her to flee for her life after her address was posted online.

But mostly, #GamerGate is about people sick of both getting lied to and having a swarm of militant social justice flies buzzing around their heads. The message was and is: Get out of my face.

And this is where the Left jumped in.

The conflict has bubbled up as a microcosm of the cultural wars writ large, mostly because left-leaning journalists try to force their left-leaning template on everything.

The attention a #firstworldproblems pissing contest has gotten from mainstream media sources is remarkable but understandable. It’s become a way for self-righteous elites to go after a cheap and easy target so they can get their feminist merit badge without doing anything actually brave, like challenge violently misogynistic Islamic practices in Middle East countries.

It’s resulted in snobby and pompous pieces in mainstream outlets, hypocritical diatribes denouncing the same economically destructive tactics routinely used by angry mobs of Leftists, and nonsensical rants from bloggers like ex-NFL punter Chris Kluwe, who is the Picasso of insults but the Brick Tamland of rational thought.

Since #GamerGate goes after Leftist pet causes and groups, it does not get the same fawning adulation that the equally inchoate and short-lived Occupy Wall Street movement received (even though in Occupy Wall Street women were actually raped). And while the media trashes the supposed conspiracies the #GamerGate legion pushes (such as accusations of orchestrated collusion by journalists to redefine the term ‘gamer’ for political reasons), these claims are a pale shadow of the radical insanity that huge chunks of the Democrat base engaged in for years. (See: Bush orchestrated 9/11; Bush sabotaged the levees so Hurricane Katrina could wipe out New Orleans.)

And here’s where I get to the #GamerGate people.

You’ve had some success, but in its own way, so does a riot. You have power, but now it’s time to build a serious and respected movement with a quantifiable platform. Then you need to push out the vitriolic elements and solidify around the core ideas that will then be synonymous with the name. You’ll still get stigmatized and lied about in the mainstream media, but that’s what being a cultural force is about.

As a limited government type who is also tired of corrupt media, I want to sympathize with the #GamerGate crowd (disclosure: I’m a gamer), but right now it’s hard to sympathize with an amorphous blob filled with random cyanide pockets.

Why is there no right side to this issue?

Each side, instead of building the world it wants, is trashing someone else’s world. And ‘they started it’ isn’t a winning argument.

To the Anna Sarkeesians of the world:

Instead of more feminism in gaming, why don’t you put more gaming in feminism.

The answer to hate speech is more speech. Likewise, the answer to bad products is more products. If you think the existing product stinks, then build your own. If you think women gamers are ostracized in the gaming industry, start an all-female gaming company that makes more female-friendly games. If it’s truly in high demand, then people will buy these products. Then you will be filthy stinking rich and a major cultural force in the years to come.

However, if you’re actually a talentless, professional whiner destined to a life of YouTube hackery, then you’re the flavor of the month and your fifteen minutes will soon be up.

To the #GamerGate crew:

public-domain-images-Free-Stock-Photos-spain-Madrid-Corrida-1000x629Ideas die when no one is listening (like the ancient gods in Neil Gaiman’s American Gods). Instead of lashing out at the grating condescension of self-appointed culture warriors, use that energy elsewhere.

Don’t like the current game journalists? Build a gaming news platform of hardcore gamers. Websites are inexpensive, and if you have a lot to say, say it there, where you can create trusted gaming reviews and solidify your ideas. (And I emphasize the plural. The notion that the #GamerGate platform has to be a monolithic idea, a talking point repeatedly pushed by the self-righteous gatekeepers of the media, is false).

Finally, remember how the media and professional social justice warriors deal with the people they disagree with. Remember how the media tried to destroy you by holding up the worst elements of your position. (A move both hypocritical and absurd. Are all environmentalists terrorists because ELF blows stuff up?)

Next time some politician proposes a law giving government more control over something, remember that the Sarkeesians of the world control the government and that the changes they want to bring about won’t just be advocacy.

Their beliefs will be enshrined in law, and what you love will be illegal.

Obamacare, Good and Hard

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Bill Cosby said that his father used to pass gas in the living room then blame an invisible elephant running under the couch. “And my brother,” said Cosby, “was dumb enough to look for it!”

With Obamacare, Democrats laid a big one. And they’re blaming invisible elephants.

Dutifully, the Left is looking for them.

With Fast and Furious, Benghazi, Tea Party harassment by the IRS, and the multiple eavesdropping scandals, the Obama administration and its allies deployed their usual arsenal of Orwellian language and media gimmicks, a whole army of invisible elephants.

Bush sent those guns into Mexico. Some YouTube hack set the Middle East on fire. Rogue elements of a Cincinnati office lashed out nationwide against the Tea Party. The NSA [redacted].

In the meantime, the Left pushed forward, utilizing the federal bureaucracy to implement their agenda. To cement their legacy, these utopian technocrats passed the Affordable Care Act and radically distorted 16% of the largest economy in the world.  Read more…

How Elephants Can Fight a Guerilla War

Rand Paul ignited an elephant stampedeWith his thirteen-hour filibuster of John Brennan, Rand Paul instigated the first elephant stampede in two years. He ignited a party so inured in screechy impotence and patchwork defense that it often fails to recognize winnable battles. Paul found such a battle, and accomplished a rare feat for Republicans. By putting U.S. assassination policy on national display, Paul not only inspired the GOP to attack, he also put Obama on defense.

Some of the old-guard Republicans griped. After dining with Obama the night before, John McCain took to the Senate floor the next morning, bashing Paul with snarky comments about appealing to “impressionable libertarian kids in their college dorms.” This one utterance summed up the GOP’s problems of 2008 and 2012. What sort of politician seeking national viability for his party knocks an appeal to any group of people? Paul’s filibuster united a diverse cross-section of Republicans and even some Democrats. This success should be saluted, not derided.

The Democrat support was a nice touch, generated by what’s known in chess as a discovered attack. By attacking Obama’s left flank on drone strikes and putting him in check, he forced Attorney General Eric Holder to answer Paul’s charges and develop a rationale that would inevitably rile the Democrat anti-war base. It’s a rare moment when the Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson and National Review’s Kevin D. Williamson agree. Rand Paul, bipartisan workhorse.

Paul also showed the GOP Read more…

Generation Yners don’t get the American Dream

Charlie Brown's Christmas tree and the American DreamIt’s over a week since Santa’s big scene, and even though you’ve kept the Christmas tree watered and fed, decrepitude seeps outward. Away in the manger, Baby Jesus no longer lays down in sweet hay but upon a bed of pine needles. The branches above shrivel and sag as the dying tree soaks up less water. Despite this, your Christmas tree’s silver garland and ceramic ornaments reflect a warm glow of red, green, yellow, orange, and blue, and the star or angel above shines or smiles down as the centerpiece of the holiday season.

How much longer will this magnificence last? It’s the same question we ask about American greatness and the American dream.  Read more…

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