Monday, February 19, 2018

A Formerly Christian Society In An Advanced State Of Decomposition

Nikolas Cruz 

The Motives Behind the Massacre

By Pat Buchanan

“Enough is enough!” “This can’t go on!” “This has to stop!”

These were among the comments that came through the blizzard of commentary after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County. We have heard these words before.

Unfortunately, such atrocities are not going to stop. For the ingredients that produce such slaughters are present and abundant in American society.

And what can stop a man full of hate, who has ceased to care about his life and is willing to end it, from getting a weapon in a country of 300 million guns and killing as many as he can in a public place before the police arrive?

An act of “absolute pure evil,” said Gov. Rick Scott, of the atrocity that took 17 lives and left a dozen more wounded. And evil is the right word.

While this massacre may be a product of mental illness, it is surely a product of moral depravity. For this was premeditated and plotted, done in copycat style to the mass killings to which this country has become all too accustomed.

Nikolas Cruz thought this through. He knew it was Valentine’s Day. He brought his fully loaded AR-15 with extra magazines and smoke grenades to the school that had expelled him. He set off a fire alarm, knowing it would bring students rushing into crowded halls where they would be easy to kill. He then escaped by mixing in with fleeing students.

The first ingredient then was an icy indifference toward human life and a willingness to slaughter former fellow students to deliver payback for whatever it was Cruz believed had been done to him at Douglas High.

In his case, the conscience was dead, or was buried beneath hatred, rage or resentment at those succeeding where he had failed. He had been rejected, cast aside, expelled. This would be his revenge, and it would be something for Douglas High and the nation to see — and never forget.

Indeed, it seems a common denominator of the atrocities to which we have been witness in recent years is that the perpetrators are nobodies who wish to die as somebodies.

If a sense of grievance against those perceived to have injured them is the goad that drives misfits like Cruz to mass murder, the magnet that draws them to it is infamy. Infamy is their shortcut to immortality.

From the killings in Columbine to Dylann Roof’s murder of black parishioners at the Charleston Church, from the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando to the slaughter of first-graders in Newtown, to Las Vegas last October where Stephen Paddock, firing from an upper floor of the Mandalay Bay, shot dead 58 people and wounded hundreds at a country music festival — these atrocities enter the social and cultural history of the nation. And those who carry them out achieve a recognition few Americans ever know. Charles Whitman, shooting 47 people from that Texas tower in 1966, is the original model.

Evil has its own hierarchy of rewards. Perhaps the most famous man of the 20th century was Hitler, with Stalin and Mao among his leading rivals.

Some of these individuals who seek to “go out” this way take their own lives when the responders arrive, or they commit “suicide by cop” and end their lives in a shootout. Others, Cruz among them, prefer to star in court, so the world can see who they are. And the commentators and TV cameras will again give them what they crave: massive publicity.

And we can’t change this. As soon as the story broke, the cameras came running, and we watched another staging of the familiar drama — the patrol cars, cops in body armor, ambulances, students running in panic or walking in line, talking TV heads demanding to know why the cowards in Congress won’t vote to outlaw AR-15s.

Yet, among the reasons gun-owners prize the AR-15 is that, not only in movies and TV shows is it the hero’s — and the villain’s — weapon of choice, but in real life, these are the kinds of rifles carried by the America’s most-admired warriors.

They are the modern version of muskets over the fireplace.

Another factor helps to explain what happened Wednesday: We are a formerly Christian society in an advanced state of decomposition.

Nikolas Cruz was a product of broken families. He was adopted. Both adoptive parents had died. Where did he get his ideas of right and wrong, good and evil? Before the Death of God and repeal of the Ten Commandments, in those dark old days, the 1950s, atrocities common now were almost nonexistent.

One imagines Nikolas sitting alone, watching coverage of the Las Vegas shooting, and thinking, “Why not? What have I got to lose? If this life is so miserable and unlikely to get better, why not go out, spectacularly, like that? If I did, they would remember who I was and what I did for the rest of their lives.”

And, so, regrettably, we shall.

From Patrick J. Buchanan (February 15, 2018)

Also See: The Anxiety Of Living In A Collapsing Society.

Israelis Protects Their Schoolchildren, Why Can't Americans?

Parkland, Florida

President Trump: Have Education Department Mandate Active Shooter Protocols

By Lawrence Meyers

I’m a small government guy, however, it’s sadly apparent that the United States of America is paralyzed with political indecision over something the State of Israel figured out more than 40 years ago: all schools should have mandated security features and active shooter protocols.

The horrific scene in Parkland, and the upsetting videos broadcast from the school during the shooting, should be the final straw.  The kids should not have been hiding and screaming, they should have been in the midst of a pre-determined security protocol.

President Trump, if the Department of Education can force Americans to deal with the disaster of Common Core, it can certainly issue a federal mandate regarding school security. The time is now.

My personal manifesto is that government should never get involved in an issue unless an ongoing clear and present danger exists to large numbers of people, and that any regulation or legislation has a sunset provision.

Here we are.

In 1974, Israel endured the Ma’alot Massacre in which “Palestinian” terrorists took 115 people hostage at Netiv Meir Elementary School.  Twenty-two children and three others were killed and 68 injured.  Israel now requires schools with 100 or more students to have a guard posted. The civilian police force handles the entire security system of all schools from kindergarten through college.  The Ministry of Education funds shelters and fences, reinforces school buses, and hires and trains guards.

Guards don’t just stand around.  They check everyone entering, and engage threats.

And yeah, they’ve got guns.The lawful purposes for carrying guns are very clear: protect school personnel and students, create a sense of security, deter the ill-intentioned, and provide self-defense.

Common sense.   Except to the illogical dullards who claim that “adding guns to schools won’t fix anything” and are fixated on the NRA and the ridiculous notions that gun laws magically stop criminals and crazy people from obtaining one of the 300 million guns in our country.

But more to the point, Israel’s Police Community & Civil Guard Department have a preventative care program that encourages safe behavior and offers violence protection strategies in normal situations.  Yet students are also trained in how to respond to an active shooter situation.

Ben Goldstein, an American who made aliyah to Israel, and now serves as volunteer security and supporter of IDF soldiers, says America is behind the curve.  Nevertheless, he says, it doesn’t take much for students and teachers to protect themselves.

“Barricade, barricade. Are desks movable?  Is the teacher’s desk movable?  Can they barricade inside of 20 seconds? If the shooter gets in, the kids should take whatever they’ve got and attack.  They can’t just sit there frozen or they will die.  America does earthquake drills, why not active shooter drills?   More kids have been killed by shooters than earthquakes."

Barricading works, says Goldstein.  In an active shooter situation, where a gunman is roaming a campus, five minutes is a lifetime, enough time for law enforcement to get to the scene.  “In those five minutes, the shooter will have to move from class to class, reload, clear malfunctions, all that stuff takes time.  And during gunfire lulls, kids must be taught to do something.  Don’t freeze.  Moving once gets you out of that deer-in-headlights space.  Take command of the classroom.”

There is no other way, says Goldstein, and “sometimes children must take matters into their own hands.If the school has no proper security – two guards in case one gets shot, and no active shooter protocol, and no doors to withstand an attack – then the child needs to run as fast as they can AWAY from the shooter.”

Because right now, America is the deer-in-headlights.  Gun control debates are a distraction and impractical, and criminals ignore laws anyway.Crazy people are obviously not being dealt with properly – students at Parkland even predicted this would happen.

The only solution is for America to toughen up.  We have a pugilist for a president, and that is long overdue.  Now its time for President Trump to fight for our children by wielding government power in the proper manner, to do something that any reasoned American would agree with.

Instead of handing out participation trophies, let’s make our kids into the self-reliant, pro-active defenders of themselves and others.

Mr. President, the time is now.

From Townhall (February 15, 2018) 

Quantum Of Purpose

Daniel Craig As "007" (Painting By Steve)

The Quantum State of Consent

By Daniel Greenfield

56% of younger millennials identify as Christian. 2% as Jewish or Muslim. 1% as Buddhist. And 36% as nothing. That's double the number that made up the "nones" among baby boomers. Being a "none" often means having no sense of purpose, except to seek personal happiness and make the world a better place by recycling, opposing Trump and calling out racism. It also means a moral code based on academic analysis of power relationships between races, genders and sexual orientations.

An editor at The Atlantic writes of girls educated by the mores of the fifties being "strong in a way that so many modern girls are weak". They were taught "over and over again that if a man tried to push you into anything you didn’t want, even just a kiss, you told him flat out you weren’t doing it. If he kept going, you got away from him... They told you to do whatever it took to stop him from using your body in any way you didn’t want, and under no circumstances to go down without a fight."

The conclusion appends the modern metric of consent to another era. But the girls of that era weren't taught to fight hard over consent. It's not that they didn't believe in consent. The great consent controversies of today were taken for granted then. But they also believed in something higher than mere consent. They weren't just fighting because of consent, but because of a moral purpose.

Resisting was more than a defense of their bodies. It was a defense of the meaning in their lives. They fought because they had something more to fight for than the exact definition of consent.

Consent is a legal formality, not a moral purpose. We consent to things we don't want to do all the time. Often it's because we make bad decisions. Consent is not a permanent state of being. It's a quantum state. The decision I made yesterday looks much worse when I see its consequences today. I'm not a finished being today. And I won't be one tomorrow. Legal agreements can bind me to the car I bought on a whim yesterday, and agonize over today, but no legal agreement binds sexual consent.

The retroactive withdrawal of consent is one of the more ambiguous topics of the consent debate. Can consent be withdrawn retroactively? What if new information emerges? Is consent formalized over an extended period or is it a momentary event? How do power relationships negate consent? That's not how the law works, but it is often how the human mind operates. And we hold people accountable to the law, not to psychological complexities.

Consent is legally significant, but psychologically meaningless. I know that I will regret tomorrow the beers that I drink today. I did buy 300 lottery tickets, but that was only because I thought I would win. Modern secular ethics treats consent as a defining moment, but the true opposite of consent isn't refusal, it's apathy. We don't make that many conscious decisions. Mostly we go with the flow.

That too is another aspect of the modern ambiguity of consent. The recent Aziz Ansari case, like so many others, didn't emerge from a crucial refusal, but instead featured a protagonist who was somewhat unwilling, but not truly conscious of her unwillingness. This general unconsciousness is how we often go through our days. We stumble into decisions without thinking about them. And only later do we realize that the decisions we made without really thinking about them mattered.

Previous generations understood that our decisions, our whims and consents, had to be ordered by a larger purpose. But the millenial "nones" are the least likely to understand that. As individuals, they have no higher purpose. The lefty ethics that govern their lives tell them what to do and how to feel, but don't meaningfully order their daily decisions into something resembling a whole person.

And without that purpose, there are only states of consent. Each state is governed by the emotions of the moment, hope, desire, disappointment, betrayal, loneliness, and is incomprehensible to any other state. Pain, joy, hunger, love and anger exist in the moment. They can be recollected, but the way that they drive us when we feel them cannot be duplicated in another moment. The decision we make under the impetus of one emotion can be swiftly negated by the conclusion of another emotion.

These are not new ideas. The history of human civilization is built on societies ordering the various states of human emotions to a higher purpose. That is one of the fundamental purposes of religion. Philosophers across thousands of years sought answers and offered solutions. And then in the last few generations, we tossed them all on the rubbish heap and exchanged them for Marxist pottage. Macroscopic analyses of class, gender and race have replaced individual meaning. Millennial nones know that they should never vote Republican, but they have no idea how to make personal choices in a way that reflects who they want to be, rather than what they are feeling right this second.

The moral ethos of the left has told them that people don't really make decisions. The mixture of Marxist macro-analysis and Freudian psychobabble that shaped the new age has left them with the conclusion that their gender, class and racial categories have shaped them at a subconscious level. They don't make choices, instead they have power relationships that reflect their privilege.

It's an ethos that produces the retroactive victimhood and preemptive guilt of people who don't really make their decisions, but are ready to apologize or rage for the inevitable outcome of the power relationships that define their lives. That's the striking difference between the ambiguous apologies of millennial celebrities like James Franco and Aziz Ansari, and the older and earlier boomer stars who clearly deny or admit their guilt. Millennial male nones live in a world where their gendered guilt exists as a permanent assumption apart from their behavior based on their original sin of privilege. That permanently indicts them even as it frees them to misbehave. Their admissions reference the ambiguous quantum states in which individuals exist, the challenge of bridging them through communication and the guilt assigned to them by their relative power relationships.

There is no moral awareness within these apologies, only the empathy and guilt of public relations. Human beings don't have a purpose, they have feelings. Some feelings are more valid than others. Feelings of oppression are the most valid of all. But none of them are truly true.

The lack of purpose makes all human relationships casual. Even the very serious moments are ultimately meaningless. But the casual ethics of two people passing on the street or a transaction at the grocery store are insufficient for those more important moments. The more serious the relationship, the worse the secular lefty ethics of the "nones" hold up in the face of it.

Religious people or those with a conscious philosophy of life are quite capable of wrongdoing. But they also have an awareness of what they are doing wrong. The "nones" often don't become aware of a moral component to their actions until they experience pain. Robbed of a meaningful philosophy, they experience only the breaches of it, the way that children raised badly only learn through pain.

Without a moral purpose, their realizations take place retroactively or in the moment. They don't understand a problem until they come face to face with it. And when they do, they don't see the bigger picture, only the painfully small one of the uncertain ebb and flow of their feelings.

Consent tells them that they have they absolute power to decide. But they have no basis for making their decisions. The abstract idea of consent has little to do with why people actually consent.

Reducing sexuality to the transactional ethics of consent satisfies legal, but not human requirements. It's a recipe for retrospective anger and pain. The ethics of consent don't make us better people. They reduce us to the barest and most exploitative ethics. And then they negotiate whether wrongdoing occurred within the narrow legal parameters of consent or the wider ones of intersectional privilege.

But morality goes beyond consent. Its ethics go beyond legality. It asks that we do more than just get the customer's signature on the dotted line for the overpriced junkheap we're selling him. Consent as the core of modern sexual ethics is Crowley's Do What Thou Wilt modified with, As Long As Maybe They Wilt It Too. But truly moral and ethical people don't ask or offer certain things. They don't condition the rightness of their actions on momentary reciprocal feelings, but on their own values.

Consent sets feelings against law. Then it asks the law to encompass the mutability and ambiguity of emotions. And the only way to do that is to remove any possible defense of legal consent. The law superseding morality, only to then be superseded by emotion, summarizes the entire history of the secular left which begins with fixed codes and then replaces them with the violent whims of outrage.

The debate over consent is only one of the many ways that this pattern is upending our societies.

The left doesn't believe that consent is absolute. It bases the degree of consent on the extent to which an individual has been educated about his privilege and the level of his oppression. It follows then that lefties and the oppressed should have the lowest rates of sexual assault. But the opposite is true.

The #MeToo movement has mostly entangled lefties who pursued consent in predatory fashion. And they did so by creating an environment in which consent could be obtained with sufficient pressure. But what can be obtained with sufficient pressure can also be withdrawn with sufficient pressure. And in the absence of meaningful relationships, all that remains is the power struggle of pressure.

This is the abusive way that people treat others when their actions are ordered by their emotions.

A moral society is a place of purpose where those particle states of emotion are ordered by higher moral laws. It asks us to treat people, not based on what we want them to consent to, what we want or even what they want, but as the principles of a higher being would want us to.

"We have no Government armed with Power capable of contending with human Passions unbridled by morality and Religion," John Adams warned. There is only one such government. Tyranny.

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom," Benjamin Franklin cautioned more simply.

These aren't abstractions. Nor are they measured on some vast scale of civilizations. They define how we live our ordinary lives. They are why this debate is taking place. 

Free people consent. But freedom comes from virtue. Freedom without virtue is anarchy. And anarchy ends in brutality and tyranny. That outcome isn't only expressed in riots in the streets. It emerges in smaller and more intimate matters, like the debate over consent. 

Freedom of consent is failing. The left wants to replace it with brutality and tyranny. The brutality of online smear campaigns and the tyranny of campus kangaroo courts. But a secular right has no replacement for it either except the more libertarian brutality and tyranny of the individual.

What we forgot is that we don't truly have freedom of consent, until we have purpose.

From The Sultan Knish (February 10, 2018)

Also See: The Giant Man-Eating Pussy Of Our Own Construction.