By Leslee Kulba- Mischief is definitely afoot, but it is difficult to try to explain its explosive expanison without invoking supernatural powers. For example, public schools decades ago taught that humans had five senses. Students were not asked to suppose not. What could not be sensed, we were taught could be inferred through rules of logic, applied line upon line. For example, the modus ponens argument says if p implies q and p is true, then so is q. Today, the press is rampant with what might be called modus mendacium. It says if p implies q and p is true, then q is not. A recent example was FBI Director James Comey’s proclamation, after saying among other incriminating statements that Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server for sensitive government business was “extremely careless” and she “should have known” better, that she was innocent.
Another example would be Supreme Court Justice John Roberts’ rulings that Obamacare was constitutional in spite of his arguments to the contrary. What he called a tax he concluded in the same document wasn’t. He later un-reasoned, states’ attempts to leverage a loophole and stop Obamacare by not setting up exchanges did not have the power to do so. Analyzing the second decision, John Podhoretz wrote for the New York Post, “He therefore must spend pages and pages explaining that the language doesn’t say what it says. Or that it doesn’t mean what it says. Or that it wasn’t supposed to mean what it was saying. Or even if it means what it says, that doesn’t matter.”
Besides people in high places jumping to obviously wrong conclusions, there are a lot of illogical things now taken for granted. For example, Twitter politics is full of messages and memes in 140 or fewer characters that contain mixed messages. It’s often difficult to retweet support a little guy without, in the click of the same button, messaging implied consent for something unholy. Twitter does not have a button to divide the question for what might be called the terrible twos. Mixed messages can also come from today’s ignorance of the strings that tie cause to effect. It may have started with Walk-a-Thons. How is walking supposed to raise money to cure disease? Better yet, what about the North Carolina Education Lottery, whose message is that being a sucker for get rich quick schemes is the way to power intelligence in the rising generation?
There appears to be truth to claims that people don’t so much apply the scientific method or basic logic in everyday decisions as they do fallacies often manipulated by advertising agencies. In fact, there are books in print claiming to lay out the laws of logic, when their aim appears to really be the debunking of the Christian faith. Saying a celebrity has charisma or animal magnetism only gives a name to the phenomenon of big shot personas getting away with yammering stupid and contradictory lies. “He’s just messin’ with ya,” his shillers and acolytes will laugh.
In a frenzy to find out what the blank is going on, yours truly took to acquiring a bunch of books on mental manipulation. In one of the first batches to arrive, a gem was found in Ben Shapiro’s Bullies. While America was founded (yes, yes, imperfectly) on the principles of classical liberalism, where no person has the right to exercise dominion over another; an elite class of power players has nonetheless evolved. It includes high-ranking government officials, corporate cronies, unions, Hollywood movie stars, and the community-organizing nonprofits they fund. Its members kiss up to each other and keep a big chunk of America’s GDP circulating in the upper echelons. Shapiro’s book focuses on how the Obama administration works through the country club to coerce the masses into pretending to believe what they do not.
Shapiro bluntly states, “It begins inside the White House and the Democratic Party, where anti-conservative strategies are hatched. The White House begins putting out its talking points via groups like the Center for American Progress and David Brock’s Media Matters. Those groups put in phone calls and emails to their allies in the mainstream media.” He then names names and their respective press posts and concludes, “That’s why you’ll hear a Greek chorus chanting mantras in unison: ‘War om Women!’ ‘Racial profiling!’ ‘The 1 percent!’”
The book follows the money and influence as it carries out psychological warfare, bullying dissent into silence. The evil, greedy 1 percent were not those Democrat-donor movie stars, bedecked in gold, taking a limo from the hotel to a photo op at the local Occupy rally; they were the Republicans fighting for economically-friendly deregulation. The administration’s model business is the rent-seeking lobby for the tax-exempt GE, which “has received millions of dollars in subsidies and billions worth of friendly regulations that drive consumers toward their products.” The bad guys were challenger Mitt Romney, who should have paid more taxes than was legally required, the Koch brothers for entirely trumped-up charges, and Conservative-leaning would-be non-profits hung up by Lois Lerner’s IRS targeting schemes. Then, there were the banks and auto companies, who had a lot of money the administration wanted so badly, it just inserted itself into the top of those companies’ lists of shareholders.
Shapiro corroborated rumors about the administration’s collaborations with unions. Before becoming president, Obama had worked for ACORN as a community organizer registering Democrats to vote, and the SEIU helped his campaign with a $60 million donation and 100,000 volunteers to work the pavement. How his stimulus program was payback for unions is covered elsewhere in this paper, but Obamacare is working a similar result. Wrote Shapiro, “Today’s unions are for the most part government sector unions, staffed by government employees who bargain collectively with politicians. The more government employees, the more union members. Observers expect more than 20 million additional government workers to join the union rolls under Obamacare. The vast majority of the cash that these unions receive comes through forced dues – the ultimate form of bullying, . . .” And those union dues fund the campaigns of pro-union politicians, and so on.
Shapiro was a child prodigy whose talent for standing up to wacko Progressivism as a student at UCLA and Harvard landed him a position working for Andrew Breitbart. Of his mentor, who died prematurely after dedicating his life to exposing leftists and their machinery, Shapiro noted, “Andrew was always about more than just Andrew. . . . Andrew empowered everyone else to stand up to the bullies. He wasn’t just a shield. He was a testament that you could – to use his phrase – walk toward the fire, and have a wonderful time doing it.”
Shapiro said Breitbart once told him, “’Walk toward the fire. Don’t worry about what they call you. All those things are said against you because they want to stop you in your tracks. But if you keep going, you’re sending a message to people who are rooting for you, who are agreeing with you. The message is that they can do it, too.” Breitbart wanted people with rational worldviews to assert their right to be tolerated, too. The lies have been advancing so long, he claimed, their purveyors don’t know how to take a defensive position.