Friday, July 17, 2015

Chattanooga & ISIS, Gawker's Woes, and the Communist Crucifix

By Kit

Sorry for the lateness, it has been a busy week. I decided to forego my planned post on Donald Trump in light of the events of the past 48 hours. And, to apologize for my lateness, I will give you two, nearly-full length posts on the Chattanooga Shooting and another on Gawker's recent woes, with a small third one on the Crucifix given to Pope Francis.

Chattanooga Shooting & Lone Wolf Terrorism

The Chattanooga shooting that killed four marines is only the latest in a spate of jihadist-inspired, small lone wolf attacks in the US and the West, nearly always on very soft targets; the attempting hacking of four NYPD officers, the recent shooting in Texas, the hostages in Australia, the attack on the National War memorial in Ottawa, etcetera. The plan for each of these was similar to those of your typical mass shooter, grab a gun (or hatchet) and kill as many people as you can before you are taken down. Very simple.

They also have a low body count, except for Charlie Hebdo, never racking up more than 5 dead, and that is assuming they manage kill somebody. But, a low body count does not make it any less terrible, or less frightening to a society. Even if they were stopped by armed citizens.

The anarchists of the turn of the century, who, like the modern jihadists, were nearly always lone wolves with even less ideological or material support than these terrorists have today (apparently, anarchists aren’t very good at organizing themselves) and, though their attacks were deadly, the body count was still low. That didn’t stop their attacks, including assassinations of world leaders such as US President McKinley and French President Sadi Carnot and the bombing of cafés that included women and children (anarchist Émile Henry said, “There are no innocent bourgeois”) and tram lines, from gripping the city of Paris in fear in the Sin de Ficlé. Everyone lived in fear because anyone could be in an attack.

And, like with the Anarchists, the world has been trying to respond. Like in the late-19th century, we have declared a “War on Terrorism”, with world leaders vowing to hunt them down and bring them to justice. And, if there is any lesson to be learned from the anarchist attacks of the Turn of the Century it is that there is very little you can do to stop them.

It is hard to imagine what immigration reform can do to stop these attacks if Muslim youths become radicalized already US citizens, naturalized or born. Perhaps, we could further slow down and bureaucratize what is often an already very slow and very bureaucratic system and hope that when they are radicalized they are still deportable. Of course, given that non-US citizens can own guns and even acquire a Concealed Carry license (rights we should feel queasy about ending), it might do very little.

Arrest the radical imams inspiring them? The Smith Act, the only law under which they could be prosecuted, has been long since gutted by Supreme Court rulings in the 1950s. And, given our value of free speech, and the potential for certain members of the Left to try and use such a law, it might be wise to let the Imams rant.

I’m afraid the only thing we can do is go to the source. These young men are being inspired to launch these attacks because every day they look at the Middle East and see ISIS conquering more land, expanding their caliphate, and executing or enslaving nonbelievers, all while flipping a finger at civilization. People are drawn to the winning team and right now, that is ISIS.

You want to stop attacks like this. Stop ISIS. Defeat them, push them back. If you want to stop losers like the young man who killed the four marines from being inspired to carry out such attacks, destroy what is inspiring them.

Gawker's Woes

Gawker is in trouble. They published a story accusing David Geithner, CFO of Conde Nast, brother of former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and a married man with a wife and kids, of soliciting sex with a gay porn star/escort. Immediately, some people noticed some problems. First, he had never engaged in advocacy against gay rights so there was no charge of hypocrisy (see, Ted Haggard) nor was he a major public figure, or even a minor one, the Chief Financial Officer of Condé Nast is not someone who appears even irregularly in the news. So, why run the story?

And it gets worse from there. The porn star/escort was not only the sole source for the story, and a conspiracy theory crackpot to boot, but it appears that this was all part of a shakedown he was trying to carry out against Mr. Geithner. Apparently, and he admits this in the story, the porn star wanted help from Mr. Geithner with a housing dispute along with money for the sexual services. Help him and he will kill the story, don’t help him and the story will run.

Immediately, there was a backlash. Everyone from Christina Hoff Sommers to Lean Freakin’ Dunham have attacked them for the story. In response, Gawker has taken down the story. Many on the left seemed surprised and shocked by this behavior.

What is surprising by all this is that people are surprised. Gawker is a gossip site that has since its birth run stories that the most deplorable super-market tabloid would find beneath their standards. They make TMZ seem like a bastion of journalistic excellence in comparison. Yet for years this behavior was over-looked, meriting only the occasional criticism.

Your average gossip magazine or site, which Gawker and its readers sneered at, behaved like that lady who leans over the table or counter and whispers “I heard John Smith had an affair with Jane Doe.” Lurid with a touch of self-righteousness, after all, that lady would never have an affair. Gawker has always been different. They outed gays for no reason other than it seems to compel other high-profile gays into coming out lest they find themselves in Gawker’s sights.

But the writers and editors at Gawker got away with this for years by fashioning themselves as a progressive news outlet who repeatedly condemned racist and sexist online harassment and peddled progressive causes. They might be outing gays left and right but they, owned by a gay man, advocated for gay rights and viciously attacked those who did not. Though they published leaked nude photos of celebrities, Gawker and it’s sister site, the far left feminist Jezebel, attacked Reddit for the nude photos leaked on its site during the “Fappening.” Yes, they doxxed politicians like Sarah Palin (and sent a daughter of her’s messages using the leaked information) and egged on social media shame campaigns against individuals but they praised Marxist radicals like Anita Sarkheesian, John McIntosh, et al in accusing groups like Gamergate and Sad Puppies of the same activities and then viciously attacking them.

In short, they were rank hypocrites.

And for years, the media indulged in and abetted this hypocrisy because they toed party lines on those progressive causes they held dear. Now, it is nice to see that at least some in the left-wing media have standards.

Communist Crucifix

Recently, Pope Francis was given a Crucifix by President Morales of Bolivia, a marxist, adorned upon a hammer-and-sickle. A disgusting gift, considering how many Christians were imprisoned, tortured, and killed by Communist regimes but the Pope accepted the gift graciously. Many conservatives are angry, shouting that the Pope should have rejected the gift, maybe clubbing that Marxist Head-of-State with it. But he didn’t so they are angry.

Now, I have my own critiques of the Pope on Climate Change (I’m skeptical) and economics but in this case, I saw his face when he was first presented with it. He did not look pleased.

In fact, his reaction to the gift was a lot like the reaction we all have when we receive a really bad gift for Christmas or our birthday (like clothes, when you were a kid).

Your first reaction: Horror/Shock/Disgust.
Then, you gather yourself and put on your poker face.
You smile.
You graciously accept the gift and say thank you.

Later, you find out if the giver checks eBay often. If not, you sell it. If he does then you find throw it out or donate it. Or, if even that is not available, you put it in the attic and let it gather dust, eventually giving it away 10 or 20 years later when he has long forgotten about the gift (or moved away/died).

But in this case eBay and donating it to Goodwill that is not an option for the Pope so into Vatican attic it goes, along with all the other tacky gifts Popes have received.


Kit said...

I saw Inside Out recently. I laughed, I cried, I cheered. A new Pixar classic.
Trailer: LINK

Critch said...

Yep, destroy ISIS and you take the wind out of sails of these young's better if you destroy them in a big way. You're right, what do you do? Limit rights of citizens and aliens? Nope, bad move, once that train starts it won't stop. I'm Catholic, I like this Pope, but I really feel that an awful lot of what he says is 1. His opinion, which holds no weight on non-church matters. 2. Not reported correctly or translated correctly. The people around him have their own agenda and I don't trust all of them. I don't read trash like Gawker, so I don't know what's going on there...

Kit said...

"I'm Catholic, I like this Pope, but I really feel that an awful lot of what he says is 1. His opinion, which holds no weight on non-church matters. 2. Not reported correctly or translated correctly."

Your first point should be remembered. I'm a non-catholic and I know that papal infallibility is limited specifically to issues of theology, faith, and morals.

Many people simply (1) apply it to whatever argument they are making at the time, however incoherent, or (2) use it as a cudgel against Catholics by expanding it to mean any and all decisions and statements by the Pope.

Your second point, I don't know Spanish at all and do not know enough Latin to say otherwise so it is entirely possible. I don't doubt that many in the media would try to conflate the Pope's comments to mean something they do not.

Kit said...

"I don't read trash like Gawker, so I don't know what's going on there…"

Avoid it like the plague. It is a hyper-left entertainment website without the entertainment value of Salon.

Kit said...


Also, cool profile pic/avatar.

AndrewPrice said...

The Pope thing really annoys me. I keep seeing these stories about how he supports one left wing issue after another. But then I go check the actual source and lo and behold it wasn't really what he said. In fact, time and again, the things he says are absolutely consistent with American conservatism.

But the MSM paints him as a far leftist, the American Catholic Church doesn't correct them, and talk radio land has chosen to go to war rather than bothering to read the actual quote rather than relying on the MSM interpretation.

It's very frustrating because the things he says could be a solid lesson to the American people of what conservatism stands for. Even where he may not align 100% with us, we can still use that to outline the difference... or we could just coopt him as the left does. But instead, we're letting the left define Catholicism as something it is not. This bodes poorly for the future once it becomes "conventional wisdom" that Catholicism is a left-wing thing.

On terrorism, unfortunately, there's nothing you can do to stop lone wolf types. They are basically the same as crazies, they just point to a different motivation and you can't stop a single person who is determined to do something random. All we can do is be thankful that these people are almost never creative or super competent. or they could do a lot more damage.

At the same time though, we need to keep fighting back to stop the left from offering up simple "solutions" that aren't solutions but result in the enactment of liberal ideas.

AndrewPrice said...

BTW, every time I've run into Gawker, I've clicked away immediately because I know it will be hard-left BS disguised as entertainment.

Kit said...

"BTW, every time I've run into Gawker, I've clicked away immediately because I know it will be hard-left BS disguised as entertainment."

And, unlike Salon, Gawker is not actually entertaining. :)

BevfromNYC said...

Re: the Chattanooga shooting...right on schedule, Obama comes to NYC for two fundraisers and a afternoon matinee of "Hamilton" with his daughters...

ScottDS said...

Lean Freakin’ Dunham...? Is this a Freudian slip?

As for lone wolves, I'm actually surprised it doesn't happen more often. Not to go all negative, but I was driving home from work the other day and thought, "What's stopping four or five armed crazies from just shooting up random people at busy intersections?" It'd be a quick way to create chaos.

P.S. I'll see Inside Out eventually. I just watched Serena, aka the OTHER Jennifer Lawrence/Bradley Cooper movie that went straight to VOD. I might have to review it one day. In short, it sets its sights too high and, as a result, comes in too low.

AndrewPrice said...

Well, Bev, to be fair, it was only Marines and it's not like the activist who did the shooting was waving a confederate flag. So what's the big deal, right?

Obama amazes me. What a genuinely hateful shit!

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Most people are all talk and no action, especially upper middle class people who generally have too many comforts to risk their lives or their freedoms... and that is where most crazies and Islamic terrorists come from, contrary to Obama's bullshit claim that terrorism is about poverty.

Seriously, if I didn't know the man was a liar, I would think he was an idiot. Every single terrorist we have had or those in Europe and all the leaders in the Middle East have come from wealthy or nearly-wealthy families. Yet, moron boy keeps insisting that poverty is what leads to terrorism.

And I believe he meant "fat rapist and false-rape propagator Dunham."

Kit said...

"As for lone wolves, I'm actually surprised it doesn't happen more often. Not to go all negative, but I was driving home from work the other day and thought, "What's stopping four or five armed crazies from just shooting up random people at busy intersections?" It'd be a quick way to create chaos."

Imagine 4 or 5 taking a major school hostage, a la Beslan, Russia. It could be Newton times ten —if we're lucky.

Anthony said...

I suspect it's ennui (mostly among second gen immigrant Muslim males) that creates the sort of terrorists we see in the West more than anything.

A lot of terrorists come from poor backgrounds (and I wouldn't say their violence is motivated by their poverty) but not the type that worry Westerners. They make life terrible for ordinary people in the Middle East and Africa but the only Westerners they present a threat to are those who live abroad.

AndrewPrice said...

"I like people who weren't captured." Hmm.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, That's true. The ones over there are a different group than the playboy terrorists over here.

Anthony said...

Trump is clearly the hero the conservative movement needs in these dark times.

BevfromNYC said...

"...but I was driving home from work the other day and thought, "What's stopping four or five armed crazies from just shooting up random people at busy intersections?" It'd be a quick way to create chaos."

I think something similar every morning when I get on the subway...but there is nothing one can do,

Btw, I read on the elevator news feed yesterday that the Charlie Hebdo editors have caved to the terrorists and decided not to print anymore cartoons depicting Mohammed. So it seems the terrorist win in Europe...

BevfromNYC said...

Here's theaters...

Kit said...

"Trump is clearly the hero the conservative movement needs in these dark times."

He's the hero the conservative movement deserves, but not the one it needs right now, so we'll chase him. Because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a boastful idiot, a trolling ass-hat.

A Dark Knight.

Critch said...

Trump needs to start sounding more serious. He can say what he wants to without being a jerk. Whatever my thoughts are of Senator McCain, he truly endured Hell for our country.

Kit said...


You are assuming he's capable of sounding more serious. And that he's not a jerk.

AndrewPrice said...

Yeah, that's the problem with Trump. He's not serious. He never has been. Since at least the 1980s, he's been a publicity whore... a buttless Kardashian slashing his way through one fad after another trying to milk the unsuspecting public.

Kit said...

What was really bad was the second sentence, "I like prisoners who don't get captured."

It sounded like he was implying some level of cowardice on the part of soldiers who were captured.

On the whole matter, Jonah Goldberg said this:
"The Arizona senator gets a lot of grief from people on the right, including around here, but even the conservatives who loathe and despise the man (I’m not one of them, by the way) almost never question McCain’s service. I should note that decent people in general don’t speak that way about McCain either. But Trump simply doesn’t know where the lines are on the right because he’s not a conservative and he can’t help himself."


Critch said...

"he's been a publicity whore... a buttless Kardashian slashing his way through one fad after another trying to milk the unsuspecting public.
" Andrew, people who can use our great language like you do always impress the Hell out of me....that was one of the best insults I have ever read....:-)

AndrewPrice said...

LOL! Thanks Critch! The "buttless Kardashian" part was my favorite. :)

In all seriousness though, Trump has a pattern that goes waaaay back at least into the 1980s with the USFL. He always moves into something, fires away with bombast, and then sells out his friends the moment he gets what he wants.

If you want someone with similar political views as those that Trump claims at the moment, but who is genuinely serious about them, then look to Ted Cruz. That would be my advice.

Rustbelt said...

Okay, I understand the news hasn't been good this week, but I will try to lighten things up a little bit. (I was going to link this on the film site, but Andrew just HAD to review a horror movie. Sheesh. The timing!)

Here's to an American institution still going strong...

Happy 60th Birthday, Disneyland! LINK

And, okay, you all know the music, you all know the words. So, as a companion link- and in honor of 'Pinocchio's' 75th anniversary- here's the one, the only, Cliff "Ukulele Ike" Edwards! LINK

Rustbelt said...

On the first link...

Don't future presidents just pop up in the most interesting of places? :) And what better way to spend a day than by hanging out with Walt?

Kit said...

Well, in honor of Disneyland's 60th Birthday, here is a nice video featuring Five for Fighting's song "Disneyland":

AndrewPrice said...

How funny is it that with the 60th birthday upon us, NASA gave an image of Pluto and it has a spot on it is shaped exactly like the Disney dog Pluto?



Rustbelt said...

Kit, great video!

Andrew, I always knew there was something about that planet. I just knew it. (Walt was ahead of us all.) And, yes, my solar system has NINE planets! A pox on all these 'dwarf planet' people!

AndrewPrice said...

Rustbelt, Agreed! There are NINE planets!

I think the Pluto thing is awesome. That's the universe telling us something!

Rustbelt said...

But what is it saying?

-Dogs have established a secret colony and are waiting to make contact with their brethren here?
-Who needs a star on a walk of fame when you can have a whole planet?
-There's a super-advanced, really powerful telescope installed in Tomorrowland?
-Bow-wow before your masters, puny humans?
-Since the planet is named after the Roman god of the underworld, Pluto (the dog) is secretly a bad guy in league with the Evil Queen (Grimhilde/Regina- your pick), Maleficent, Cruella, and Scar?

I just can't tell!

tryanmax said...

RE: communist crucifix -- I think the symbolism of the thing was somewhat lost on Morales and whoever designed the thing. The original cross was an implement of torture and execution erected by the expansive Roman government. Subbing in the hammer and sickle puts communism in the place of Rome as it relates to the founding of Christianity. LOLZ! Judging by the Pope's expression upon seeing the thing, it was not lost on him.

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