Harsh Reality

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

As We've Transformed to Digital Socialization, Leftists Control Every Narrative

 In a recent social media post a user was talking about watching the 1980s TV action show 'Air Wolf' with his family. He mentioned how, besides the entertainment value of the show itself, it was also a time capsule looking back at what life was like.

I've noticed this phenomenon, and maybe you have, too. I don't watch much TV. In fact, we don't have cable and we're too far from broadcast TV towers to pick up over-the-air television channels. So, like a lot of people, we basically have some subscription services. I rarely watch at all, my wife has certain series she enjoys. But that's pretty much it.

Watching TV shows from even the 1990s, like 'Seinfeld' is as fascinating for the cultural reminders as it is for the story itself. For instance, how many of the personal drama hilarity in Seinfeld plots could've been solved if they had cell phones? George having everyone sit by the phone so they could answer it "Vandalay Industries?" or any of the "where were you?!?" bits wouldn't work at all nowadays. And much of the amusing banter or disagreements among friends that were a staple of TVs and movies is solved now with a quick Google search on your smartphone or check-in with Alexa.

Social media has also completely transformed how people socialized. Most of us have "friends" we talk to online who we've never actually met. Socializing is a thing that, throughout the entirety of human history until the past decade, was something people had to do in person. If you hung out somewhere and acted like a jerk, you'd be corrected, or at least avoided. If you were insufferable enough, you might get thrown out of a place. Maybe punched, depending on what you said and to whom you said it. As the guy with the Air Wolf box set mentioned, there was nobody to "moderate" and pick - in advance - who the winners and losers were going to be like there is now on social media. Twitter and the other tech giants are constantly purging entire classes of users for wrongthink, deleting speech, monitoring speech and deciding if the lynch mob demanding a user be canceled will get their wish. In the time before, the bartender, party host or whomever wasn't in charge of policing what people say. People were responsible for themselves, and if enough people thought a guy was a jerk they just avoided him. Being bad for business, someone making an ass of himself to enough people usually got shown the door or not invited back. But that was purely practical, not being the 'moral police'.

We've fundamentally transformed how humans interact with each other. We've created a permanent baby class. When my kids were little, we always encouraged them to face disappointment and difficulty head-on, make the best decision on handling it and drive on. This was necessary, we explained, because there wouldn't always be a parent or teacher to correct things for you. The tech giants have effectively stepped in as worldwide parents or teachers. Their favored children run to them and tattle every time they're offended at something one of the less-favored children said and demand they be punished.

This bizarre virtual, perpetual parenting has created an unnatural, permanent immaturity in our culture. There's not only a jostling among the "children" to be more favored with the big tech "parents", but a never-ending demand for more punishment of the less favored "children". It has stunted the emotional growth of an entire generation. Permanent infantilization on a mass scale.

Which is one reason everyone feels like everything has gone crazy. Because our speech, our relationships, the things we enjoy...it's all being managed by "Super Parents".

As I write this, there is total confusion surrounding the decision by Big10 officials about canceling the 2020 college football season. Some member schools have been very direct in insisting the season will not be canceled. Media is reporting the vote has already happened and the schools have definitely canceled it. There is pushback, confusion and accusations of false reporting. A friend noted the normally rock-steady people he knows involved in leadership seem to be unusually confused. This is because people in leadership in every area of America doesn’t realize that social media has been 98% purged of those who disagree with the major media narrative.

They don't understand that social media is not real!

They see CBS-CNN-NBC-NYT-WaPo-ABC-MSNBC and virtually all of social media screaming the exact, same thing. They can’t seem to grasp that that’s on purpose! In 2015-16 social media was the counterbalance against major media. After Donald Trump's election the tech giants set out to cancel points of view differing from the approved narrative. This total confusion is the result.

Major media effectively controls all of social media. Whatever the leftist narrative on any given topic is deemed "TRUE", and different opinions are quashed as "fake news" and scrubbed as dangerous misinformation. People in leadership positions see a single, amplified point of view, act on what they believe to be a near-unanimous consensus, and then are stunned at the resulting pushback. This disconnect is the source of the massive confusion in so many institutions today and the frustration of so much of the American people.

To the vast majority of Americans, rioters are not heroes. Police are not universally despised. America and it's founding is not hated. Most people are not cowering in fear of the coronavirus. These are all major media narratives created and amplified to push political agendas. The people pushing these narratives all vote the same way and live in a bubble. Over and over again, leftist media create a narrative they want to be true, report it as actually true and hope their reporting will make it true. They did that for over three years with the Russian collusion hoax. We now know there was zero basis for that. The House testimony of the Obama principles in that mess shows witness after witness told Adam Schiff's committee they didn’t personally have any evidence of Russian collusion. But everyone on the left just assumed SOMEONE did, so they just all reported there was a “mountain of evidence” being built. Major media all got in line, reported the same thing and social media giants made sure to snuff out legitimate questions by labeling them "fake news".

If Donald Trump is reelected in November, after four years of nonstop attacks and accusations by a viciously hostile majority media, universal condemnation across social media platforms and polling showing Americans virtually unanimous in their hatred for the man and everything he's done or said his entire presidency, it will be the greatest demonstration of the complete disconnect between reality and those who completely control sources of information.

We cannot go back to the pre-internet or pre-cell phone days, but we can implement safeguards to assure that information, debate and discussion in our digital world is not entirely controlled by one side of our political spectrum.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

L.A., Detroit Democrats Weaponize Utility Companies in Opposite Ways

Photo: Time
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti's order this week to cut off water and electric service to homes where people are suspected of violating his coronavirus rules is the exact opposite of how Democrats are handling matters elsewhere in America.

In an effort to battle "large house parties" and only "egregious" cases, the mayor and LA city council have authorized shutting off utilities for the purpose of stopping the spread of coronavirus. Now, obviously, we all know this has little or nothing to do with fears about spreading COVID-19. To begin with, Garcetti and Democrats have specifically exempted protests (what those of us in the rest of America call "rioting") from coronavirus restrictions. The virus doesn't know the difference between a crowd of sweaty, shirtless young people at a house party and a crowd of sweaty, shirtless young people throwing Molotov cocktails at police or into a liquor store. Also, from everything we know about this virus, the least vulnerable demographic is young people, with virtually a 100% recovery rate and extremely mild symptoms. The extraordinary measure of using city utilities as a weapon to punish those disobeying orders, or perhaps a reward for being obedient, is about something else.

Just as with the lockdown orders that put millions of Americans on house arrest with no due process, and the economic shutdown orders cheered by liberals, LA's weaponization of public utilities is simply about cracking that door. Establishing the precedent, to be expanded later. Just as the lockdowns and shutdowns were sold as an emergency measure that was only needed for a few days. Remember "We only have 14 days to flatten the curve!"? We're now in the fifth month, and the left hasn't run out of ideas for why various coronavirus restrictions need to stay in place or be increased or re-introduced after having been lifted. These measures would never have happened to begin with if Americans were told they'd drag on for months, be used for political gamesmanship and possibly be permanent or semi-permanent. Once the precedent was established, the left was off and running and they've used coronavirus for maximum political gain.

But there's another situation in a Democrat-run city across America that shows liberals are using public utilities as a creative political tool.

When Detroit was in bankruptcy and financial managers were sent in to sort out the shocking mismanagement, it was discovered the city's water utility had $90 MILLION in unpaid water bills from about 19,000 accounts. The water company was essentially operating on the honor system, since the utility wouldn't do anything if a resident or company didn't pay their water bill. This same (mis)management technique for utilities is why the electrical grid is collapsing in South Africa. A nation formerly on the cutting edge of nuclear energy, where nuclear reactors once supplied clean, plentiful, reliable power to the country's homes and economy, is now barely able to operate old, inefficient coal-fired power plants and suffers from rolling blackouts.

When the bankruptcy managers sought to collect that money and enforce such collection by shutting off service to delinquent accounts, Democrats went crazy. They protested, they screamed, they petitioned the bankruptcy judge to stop the shutoffs. They came up with the slogan "water is a human right!", which is basically what they say about anything they want nowadays, but want someone else to pay for. College, abortions...basically anytime they want something for free. Anyway, it was the same here. 19,000 homes, apartments and businesses hadn't been paying their water bill, but it was portrayed as the most sickening crime against humanity if there were consequences for ignoring it. The left even begged the United Nations to send in troops to stop the city from requiring a payment plan or any other way of collecting the bill. The UN didn't send troops, but they did huff and puff and denounce the bankruptcy people for "violating human rights" and who-knows-what else. Again, we're talking about a water bill here. The left, who always finagles the language to sound more intense, re-cast the unpaid water bill thing as "denying access to water". Which, like every other time they re-purpose language, is ridiculous and intentionally created for the shock value. Like "assault weapon", it only works on stupid people. but that's all they need to convince. People who don't really think about what they hear. To people like that, the new phrasing made it sound like the federal bankruptcy judge was authorizing accountants to restrain starving people in those old-timey stocks in the public square and not give them anything to drink while people throw tomatoes at them.

Eventually, the finance guys kinda caved a little and they had a moratorium and an amnesty period for people to make some arrangements to get caught up. Basically, it was the gentlest possible way to try to collect an astronomical sum of money. And it was contested at every turn by Democrats, who claimed it was inhumane and violated human rights and international laws and standards of human decency and intergalactic treaties and anything else they could think up. The bottom line was nobody but the worst kind of monstrous human garbage would ever even suggest thinking about shutting off the water to someone's home or business. Never. It was beyond the pale.

Now we have liberal Democrats in another American city shutting off water to homes or businesses where 
the resident is paying the bill, but they're disobeying a Democrat political order.
In the context of COVID-19, it should be pointed out Detroit used that as an excuse during this current pandemic to halt the water shutoffs, claiming they were making the pandemic worse. So, Democrats in Detroit and Los Angeles should try to get on the same page.

Now that liberals have a precedent for cutting off services to homes for political reasons, the process will expand. Just like the shutdowns and lockdowns that were only supposed to be for 14 days have turned into anything and everything leftists want to do to us for as long as they want to do it to us, shutting off utilities is sure to expand. The mayor and LA Democrats say it's only for "egregious" cases and "large" house parties, but we all know these vague terms will quickly become anything and everything Democrats need to solidify their political power. 

Liberals using utility companies as a weapon is just a continuation of the cancel culture they've created on social media and in corporate America. Any opinion differing from the social justice approved message of the day can get you banned from Facebook or twitter, or could even get your family fired from their jobs. In 2018 I wrote in a national column at WND about the left stomping out political opposition by using institutions to cut off access to society. I made the comparison to utilities cutting off service to customers' homes for disagreeing with an approved political orthodoxy. That fictional example has become reality.