On “condemning” our violent culture

posted at 10:01 am on January 19, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

When the President put his pen to nearly two dozen executive orders regarding gun control, there were a couple of glaring omissions which many of us quickly noted. One was the fact that the previously ballyhooed “balanced approach” to gun violence, mental health issues and the “culture” of violence in video games and films turned out to be little more than gun banning. Even the fig leaf given to the issue of those facing mental health issues amounted to little more of any substance than a way to generate more lists of people who couldn’t buy guns. But the other half of that balance sheet was entirely missing. There was nothing more than lip service to the so called problem of violent video games and movies.

Apparently seeking some redress for this omission, Matt Lewis penned a column about the need to shame Hollywood into condemning their pandering to a blood crazed nation. It starts out as something of a tribute to the latest onslaught from Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough for calling out the evils of Quenton Tarantino and all of the millions of dollars he’s made from gun happy films.

“I think you need to bring people like Harvey Weinstein around the table,” Scarborough continued, “and just say, ‘this is no longer socially acceptable. It is no longer socially acceptable after Newtown for you to give Quenton Tarantino money to make movies that glorify slaughter, murder, rage, than it would be, Harvey, for you to give somebody millions of dollars to make a cheap porn movie.’”

I could have stopped reading right there, except that Lewis redeems himself a bit by noting that government censorship is no answer. And yet, he still sees fit to pass judgement.

As a culture, we have decided that a lot of things may be legal, but are still deserving of scorn. For example, being racist or sexist comes with consequences. We as a society have decided it’s okay to shame someone for this behavior.

If you make money peddling violence, then you’re making the world a less sublime place for me to live. I might have to live with that, but you shouldn’t get a Golden Globe Award for it, either.

Violence in video games, violence in movies… it’s very easy to make a case against them. And anyone who disapproves is not only free to avoid them, but to speak their mind about it. But this diatribe seems to fail the core test of conservatism on two levels. First of all, who are these “leaders” we are supposedly waiting for to lead the charge against the next release of Grand Theft Auto or Die Hard Seven – Geriatric Grenade Thrower? Surely we already agree that it’s not Uncle Sam, but who should we be welcoming as the “thought leader” on a national level? Aren’t these precisely the sorts of things which not only can, but should be entrusted to parents and spiritual leaders?

And what of the free market? How many people have watched all of these “awful” films? How many people have purchased shooter based video games? (Hint: More than 11 million bought Grand Theft Auto 3 alone.) And out of all of them, less than a dozen irreparably damaged, sub-human lunatics have gone on mass shooting sprees. So the rest of the consumers bear the guilt for this handful of monsters? Seeking to gather together an army to “shame” the producer of a legal product isn’t all that different from asking the nanny state to outlaw 16 oz sodas or bring lawsuits against McDonalds. (It’s better, mind you, as it doesn’t turn the parental responsibility over to the government, but the effect is the same.) If people produce a product which nobody wants, it will fail and they will go out of business. If the product is not only legal but popular, you are effectively seeking to censor everyone else with a shaming campaign. Feel free to speak up all you like, but don’t expect everyone else to fall in line.

I applaud anyone who takes the responsibility to manage the affairs of their family wisely, monitor what their children do and teach them to be constructive members of society. And I leave room for each of us to pick the sort of entertainment we choose to take in, providing we all take responsibility for our own actions. Government’s place is to punish those who break the rules we collectively agree upon as defining civilized conduct. It’s not to preemptively regulate what we see, hear or legally do to make sure we don’t go off the deep end. And when it comes to non-regulated offerings, blaming Hollywood or Rockstar Games (the makers of GTA) for our violent culture is exactly the same as blaming McDonalds because you’re fat.


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It is not up to Joe Coffee to decide what is, or is not socially acceptable. That’s done by the free market. Just as it’s not for anyone to decide whether someone needs an AR-15 or 20 round mags for their Sig 226.

BKeyser on January 19, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Hear hear!!

thebrokenrattle on January 19, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Encroaching on 1st Amendment rights is not going to curb violence.

davidk on January 19, 2013 at 10:10 AM

This whole thing is stupid. A couple crazies go shoot and kill innocent people and we’re all talking about irrelevant things like video games and movies?

bluegill on January 19, 2013 at 10:10 AM

The liberal view of the world is if we ban Product A we won’t have Result B. And you’re right–who would be these ‘leaders’. For years I have heard of so-called ‘black leaders’ who have been self-appointed but christened by the media as such. Though they have a following, by what measure could they truly be called leaders of millions of people across the country?

I see more media hype than substance, like the idea Sean Penn is a great actor and a great guy. Maybe schools should label all violent films as racist and start teaching kids to never go see one.

Liam on January 19, 2013 at 10:11 AM

I read a post somewhere right after the election that said we as conservatives were putting our money in the wrong places. We need, it said, to be buying out movie studios, music companies, newspapers and other mass media and then begin producing products with a conservative stamp on them. Not in your face stuff but subtle. Things like movies where the father isn’t a bumbling oaf or a married couple take on the bad guys as one. Movies where the political villain isn’t always some evil right wing caricature but sometimes he’s an evil left winger sneering at the masses behind their back.
In that way we could begin the process of moving the popular culture back to the right.
The left began their project decades ago in this regard and plays the long game well that we suck at.
It’s a fact that all of the highest grossing movies are family fare. Yet Hollywood produces relatively little of it and is increasingly hostile to any product that challenges their world view.
That has to change.

Curmudgeon on January 19, 2013 at 10:11 AM

This whole thing is stupid. A couple crazies go shoot and kill innocent people and we’re all talking about irrelevant things like video games and movies?

bluegill on January 19, 2013 at 10:10 AM

I’m still not hearing much about what we should do with the violently mentally ill. I probably won’t.

gryphon202 on January 19, 2013 at 10:20 AM

Some say America was lost in various institutions; schools, colleges, the military, public offices, hollywood, the music industry, etc.

It was lost in the pulpit.

tom daschle concerned on January 19, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Curmudgeon on January 19, 2013 at 10:11 AM

If nothing else, it might get me out of my house more often to watch a movie. The only one I’ve seen since last summer was The Hobbit.

::: sigh :::

Jazz Shaw on January 19, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Better a violent culture than a passive one.

Flange on January 19, 2013 at 10:25 AM

It is a fact as far as I am concerned that to the extent that a culture of violence actually exists, it is glorified by the popular arts for their profit, and it is not beyond question that it is also fostered by them.

I do not want to make them guilty of any crime, but I do want them convicted as guilty of the real crime they have committed – hypocrisy on a grand scale. Their punishment should be deprivation of our money as customers.

drunyan8315 on January 19, 2013 at 10:26 AM

WHAT ABOUT THE ZOMBIES???

Blake on January 19, 2013 at 10:26 AM

WHAT ABOUT THE ZOMBIES???

Blake on January 19, 2013 at 10:26 AM

What about them? They voted for Barky’s Zombie Horde and are currently feeding off the necrotic flesh of what is left of the US Economy.

CorporatePiggy on January 19, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Curmudgeon on January 19, 2013 at 10:11 AM

.
If nothing else, it might get me out of my house more often to watch a movie. The only one I’ve seen since last summer was The Hobbit.

::: sigh :::

Jazz Shaw
on January 19, 2013 at 10:24 AM

.
That puts you “one up” on me.

Just never cared to spend money at a theater.

listens2glenn on January 19, 2013 at 10:31 AM

i am 41 years old. i have seen nearly every violent slasher, horror, gorey, gun shooting flick known to man. i have also played some voilent vidoe games where you shoot people and pretend you’re some indian guy with green tomahawks and beat the sh-t out of other whacked out characters. i’ve never been in a fist fight my entire life, nor do i have violent tendencies toward others. maybe because i was raised in a catholic conservative home and was taght manners and values and to respect life. oh, and i also had a father that lived with me growing up. maybe that had something to do with how i turned out even though i sought out violent movies and games to entertain my dumb ass.

GhoulAid on January 19, 2013 at 10:33 AM

GhoulAid on January 19, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Does your doctor know about this?

Flange on January 19, 2013 at 10:40 AM

And what of the free market? How many people have watched all of these “awful” films? How many people have purchased shooter based video games? (Hint: More than 11 million bought Grand Theft Auto 3 alone.) And out of all of them, less than a dozen irreparably damaged, sub-human lunatics have gone on mass shooting sprees

That’s not quite fair. Those who condenm video violence point also to the dozens of shootings, and several murders, every weekend in Chicago and similar acts in most major urban areas. Also the violent acts of Occupy crowd, and many other violent subcultures in America. If there is a connection, the social pathologies go a lot farther than the relatively rare mass shooting spree.

tommyboy on January 19, 2013 at 10:41 AM

I pray the Republic survives the “second term” and lurches back to the “right”…

Amazing how Barky didn’t RUN FOR OFFICE on this, wasn’t it?

Khun Joe on January 19, 2013 at 10:43 AM

We live in a world where excuses and bans have replaced parenting, leadership and personal responsibility. Until we fix the latter, we’ll never be rid of the former.

I’ve tried to raise well-rounded children, but now that they are adults, they suffer the consequences of those that abdicated their responsibility.

We, and our children, are so screwed.

SteveInRTP on January 19, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Encroaching on 1st Amendment rights is not going to curb violence.

davidk on January 19, 2013 at 10:10 AM

The 1st amendment was never intended to protect the publication of immoral or crude literature. The history of the United States is replete with government censorship of publications which were deemed to be an immoral influence on society all the way back to the pilgrims. The problem is not with the first amendment, the problem is that immoral behavior and publications are so widespread, that it would make prohibition look like a success if we went and tried to regulate it now.

NeverLiberal on January 19, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Not all “violence” is bad.

What I condemn, is our culture of “hedonistic pleasure seeking.”

listens2glenn on January 19, 2013 at 10:46 AM

I may have missed this part in my history classes, but exactly which Violent Video Games did Bill Quantril play?

jaydee_007 on January 19, 2013 at 10:54 AM

I pray the Republic survives the “second term” and lurches back to the “right”…

Amazing how Barky didn’t RUN FOR OFFICE on this, wasn’t it?

Khun Joe on January 19, 2013 at 10:43 AM

.
It was pure “luck-of-draw” that this happened only six weeks after he got reelected (In Newtown CT, it was their “bad luck” that it happened at all).

But if this would have happened before the election . . . . . . .

listens2glenn on January 19, 2013 at 10:57 AM

I think we’re focusing on the wrong area. It’s the family that’s the foundation of our society and it’s the core family unit that’s being eroded.

Purchasing firearms was easier decades ago so why were we not a more violent culture back then?

Families were the core unit and children obeyed their parents. Disobedient children were properly disciplined without involvement of the state and mind-altering drugs were unavailable.

Children didn’t dare cross teachers and the parents supported the teachers when the teachers had to address unruly students.

Why should the left care about children? They’re always telling us that we never need morals and shouldn’t rely on “ancient documents.”

We have reaped what we have sown and it will continue as long as we remain arrogant.

Kingfisher on January 19, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Not far down this darkening path is an economy built on black markets and a society unable to function with out criminal behavior on the part of the majority of its members.
As Felix Frankfurter was alleged to have said, “The law should fit a man like a comfortable suit of clothes”. When the law begins to bind and constrict us in our daily pursuits, when it begins to act more like a strait jacket than a “comfortable suit of clothes”, we will all become criminals. At that point, the law itself has lost its respectability and we are left with a world where the average citizen must make his own justice.
We’re all going to need a LOT MORE GUNS!!!

Lew on January 19, 2013 at 11:02 AM

davidk…. I just saw that story and came here to post it…weird.

MOUNT CARMEL, Pa. (AP) — A 5-year-old Pennsylvania girl who told another girl she was going to shoot her with a pink toy gun that blows soapy bubbles has been suspended from kindergarten.

CW on January 19, 2013 at 11:21 AM

The 1st amendment was never intended to protect the publication of immoral or crude literature. The history of the United States is replete with government censorship of publications which were deemed to be an immoral influence on society all the way back to the pilgrims. The problem is not with the first amendment, the problem is that immoral behavior and publications are so widespread, that it would make prohibition look like a success if we went and tried to regulate it now.

NeverLiberal on January 19, 2013 at 10:45 AM

I understand that this kind of forum makes difficult explaining the point one wishes to make, and I am a bit slow on the uptake at times.

I don’t really understand what you’ve said.

I despise pornography. It is addictive, ruins lives, debases people. It is contrary to God’s economy. (“eco” = house; “nomos” = law).

But the answer is not to censor but to change peoples’ hearts.

Indeed, laws should be enacted to limit the accessibility to such material so that children are protected.

I am more concerned about the subtle anti-Christian worldview in what is considered “good” entertainment. And that goes all the way back to “wholesome” programs such as Father Knows Best and Andy Griffith.

I lay the responsibility for that at the feet of the Christian Church. The pablum it has offered over the past 50 to 60 years has left Christians ill-equipped at discerning anti-Christian worldviews, and like leaven those worldviews have permeated our culture.

davidk on January 19, 2013 at 11:26 AM

davidk…. I just saw that story and came here to post it…weird.

MOUNT CARMEL, Pa. (AP) — A 5-year-old Pennsylvania girl who told another girl she was going to shoot her with a pink toy gun that blows soapy bubbles has been suspended from kindergarten.

CW on January 19, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Literally throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

davidk on January 19, 2013 at 11:28 AM

****************** HIGH NOON ****************************

Pro-gun activists plan rallies in 49 states at ‘high noon’ to protest Obama’s proposed curbs on firearms – @Reuters

44 mins ago by editor
=========================

Pro-gun rallies across U.S. attack Obama’s curbs on firearms
Jan

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/01/19/us-usa-guns-rallies-idUKBRE90H17A20130119

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/18/us-usa-guns-rallies-idUSBRE90H17A20130118
=====================

http://gunsacrossamerica.com/

http://www.facebook.com/events/144639815690301/

canopfor on January 19, 2013 at 11:28 AM

OT: Earl Weaver dead.

davidk on January 19, 2013 at 11:31 AM

There’s little doubt, imo, that the entertainment industry is mostly responsible for the coarsening of our culture. Things that used to be sources of shame before, such as fathering lots of kids with lots of different women, is now to be gawked at on cable tv. Movies and games absolutely glorify guns and violence, as well as promiscuity and drug use, and it’s the height of hypocrisy for any of those limo libs to criticize gun ownership while profiting off or mayhem and shootings on screens big and small.

changer1701 on January 19, 2013 at 11:33 AM

********************* HIGH NOON ************************

Pro-gun rallies across U.S. attack Obama’s curbs on firearms

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/01/19/us-usa-guns-rallies-idUKBRE90H17A20130119
=====================

http://gunsacrossamerica.com/

http://www.facebook.com/events/144639815690301/

canopfor on January 19, 2013 at 11:34 AM

“What would you do?”

First of all – “do no harm” – as the Hippocratic oath requires, i.e., nothing. Having conducted hundreds of “risk assessments” over the years, there is NO way to predict just who will act out. Allow me to re-phrase the question:

What do you do when the horses are already out of the corral? You figure out how that happened and then set about to remedy the situation. It’s not the “corral” or “barn” that is at fault, it’s those who don’t ensure their safety and ones own investment.
As I have written previously, there are very few opportunities these past many decades for young men to actually experience “adventure”. Physical Education is no longer required in schools and “dodge ball” is banned, lest some poor little kid sustain a brief red mark from being hit. It was one of my favorite activities. As a result, youngins these days have no outlet to experience the real world and to depend upon themselves. Instead, many bury themselves in violent, and unrealistic, video games and movies.
I suggest that we begin there since too many parents don’t really “parent” these days. These testosterone-fueled young men involve themselves in a fantasy world in which they live vicariously through a computer or movie theater screen. Does anyone who knows sheet from Shinola believe that the violence to which young men are exposed has NO affect on them?
Give them something to do that challenges them. Keep up to date on what they are viewing and provide them with a way to vent their “anger” and disaffection besides the imaginary world.
I guarantee you that IF these disaffected young men actually had an outlet to express their “manliness” they will act differently. Hell, even “paint ball” is more realistic vis á vis urban/AO combat video games that seems to be so popular. The real thing up close and personal is really not much fun; challenging and scary, but not “fun”.
Besides the violent video games and the ubiquitous gratuitous violence in films these days (it’s nothing like the shocking reality that Sam Peckinpaw exposed in the 1960s), it’s a lack of direction – personal direction. Youngins, especially young men, NEED an outlet to exorcise any demons that might inhabit them.
Have you seen “Scarface”, “Natural Born Killers”, “Kill Bill, 1,2,3” or “No Country For Old Men”, etc. etc, ad nauseam? What role did all of the violence have to do with the plot? Absolutely NOTHING. To be sure, I LOVE Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” and watch it at least once per year, but the violence WAS the plot (and sub-plots) and it displayed, if you’ve watched it closely enough, life lessons.

IN SUM: Hollywood, and the insulated, inexperienced geeks who make computer “games” have a LOT to do with influencing young men – especially those who are angry and disaffected. These genrés allow them to live vicariously through others so that THEY don’t actually have to BE THERE themselves. It gives them a false sense of tough guy, i.e., Machismo.
THAT’S where I would begin, Parenting (as IF), responsible media, and a socio-cultural awareness that these fantasy worlds do not exist. We all know about the Roadrunner/Coyote cartoons, but that was obviously fantasy that one could not emulate.

Has anyone my age, or older, ever had a BoBo Doll (Observational Learning)? WE did. The viewing of violence only leads to more as was demonstrated FIFTY YEARS ago by Dr. Larry Bandura:
Observational Learning
http://voices.yahoo.com/the-bobo-doll-study-psychological-experiment-from-5512407.html?cat=25

Sadly, the clueless incompetents who run this country haven’t a clue. As long as the purveyors of obscene violence continue to give boatloads of money to Leftist pols and their campaigns, not a damn thing will change.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on January 19, 2013 at 11:37 AM

CW on January 19, 2013 at 11:21 AM

They can pry Hello Kitty from my…never mind.

OK…back to the subject.

When is our esteemed and world-loved Nobel laureate President going to go after the gang violence that is legendary in our cities? He said that if it saves just one life, we must do it…right? Like maybe Obama addressing how violent his former stomping grounds in Chicago has become? Send in a special task force from his wonderful DoJ? Did his community organizer activities actually lend to this violence? Or was he merely yet another carpetbagger taking advantage of free money and riding on the backs of his own “people?”

There is a liberal/Progressive tendency to do “something” even if it saves the life of just one person…one, the former group, is benign in intent, naive, actually, and the latter far more sinister.

Liberals can wring their hands, raise cash, hold rallies, have demonstrations and such…because they can…and it makes them feel good that at least they “did something.”

Progressives do the same because they must.

Progressives also have an agenda extending way back before Woodrow Wilson’s failed Presidency, where he envisioned a world led by an educated altruistic elite who would shame the bad, destroy evil, and lead the world out of poverty. ignorance, despair and war…if only the rest of the world would submit, surrender, to the whims of the wonderful Progressives. From Wilson, to H.G. Wells, to the Chicago School, till today, the progressive movement is all about ultimate control. Control of any and all who are not “progressive.”

Give up freedom for promises of safety. (And unicorns and Skittles…)

That is the evil of the Progressives.

No amount of new laws, no ripping apart the Bill of Rights, nothing, nothing at all that these so-called “leaders” demand will ever, ever, stop some idiot, some insane person, some pissed-off ex-spouse, from raining down death and mayhem on innocents.

But, to make it easier for them to do so in the name of cutting down on violence? Taking away our last ditch of self-preservation and self-protection as people, as a Nation, in the name of stopping the madness?

It makes no sense.

Give me one example, just one, where calling the police, or dialing 911, getting rid of any and all fire-arms in the household has been proven to have prevented a ghastly crime?

Now, cite as many examples as you wish where disarmed, unarmed, innocent civilians have been brutally murdered in droves because not a single one among them was trained in the use of firearms and was carrying, and took a stand against that thug, that lunatic, that evil incarnate brandishing some sort of semi-automatic weapon?

When it is time to call the police, or dial 911, the ghastly damage has already been done.

coldwarrior on January 19, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Two questions:

1. Do ideas have consequences?
If you answer yes to the first question
2. How should we react when consequences occur?

For me I follow a nearly 2000 year old quote? “All things are lawful but not all things are expedient.” In other words self government.

chemman on January 19, 2013 at 11:56 AM

“Does anyone who knows sheet from Shinola believe that the violence to which young men are exposed has NO affect on them?”

Hear, hear…although it’s not at all unusual for the purveyors of the schlock to maintain that the kids know that it’s make-believe, and that it has no effect on them.

Of course, when these schlockmeisters say that, they are attempting to argue that what we see and hear and read has no effect on us. Kind of knocks the whole concept of education into a cocked hat, doesn’t it?

Owen Glendower on January 19, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Could Joe Scarborough climb any higher on his horse?

can_con on January 19, 2013 at 12:11 PM

The gunfight scenes in Hollywood movies are hilarious.

In a 10-minute gunfight, with protagonists and antagonists shooting at each other a little less than half of the time (they take turns shooting at each other, and they have to run for cover now and again), everybody must be coming in with about 2,000 rounds on their person. At a typical 125 grain cartridge for these AKs, that’s over 35 pounds of ammo that they’re each running around with. (Try it sometime!)

And I didn’t bother to look for how soon the barrel melts under sustained automatic firing.

ss396 on January 19, 2013 at 12:17 PM

For me I follow a nearly 2000 year old quote? “All things are lawful but not all things are expedient.” In other words self government.

chemman on January 19, 2013 at 11:56 AM

That’s just silly talk.

davidk on January 19, 2013 at 12:19 PM

coldwarrior on January 19, 2013 at 11:43 AM

…good!

KOOLAID2 on January 19, 2013 at 12:21 PM

Could Joe Scarborough climb any higher on his horse?

can_con on January 19, 2013 at 12:11 PM

…there’s only SO much…he can do…in the back there!

KOOLAID2 on January 19, 2013 at 12:22 PM

ss396 on January 19, 2013 at 12:17 PM

In the mid-80′s. some Soviet news guy decides to make a bolt for freedom at Panmunjom, from the North Korean side.

He runs. They start shooting. The UNC guys fire back.

Over 1000 rounds estimated to have been fired. No casualties. The Soviet was moved elsewhere, out of Korea, fast.

Ruined my weekend.

From a few of the officers on our side, it was like those old Saturday morning cowboy shoot-em ups…but nobody, not a single one got a scratch, apparently.

The Soviet?

A total worthless sort.

Caused us all sorts of problems until some third country offered to let him in.

coldwarrior on January 19, 2013 at 12:24 PM

I understand that this kind of forum makes difficult explaining the point one wishes to make, and I am a bit slow on the uptake at times.

I don’t really understand what you’ve said.

I despise pornography. It is addictive, ruins lives, debases people. It is contrary to God’s economy. (“eco” = house; “nomos” = law).

But the answer is not to censor but to change peoples’ hearts.

Indeed, laws should be enacted to limit the accessibility to such material so that children are protected.

I am more concerned about the subtle anti-Christian worldview in what is considered “good” entertainment. And that goes all the way back to “wholesome” programs such as Father Knows Best and Andy Griffith.

I lay the responsibility for that at the feet of the Christian Church. The pablum it has offered over the past 50 to 60 years has left Christians ill-equipped at discerning anti-Christian worldviews, and like leaven those worldviews have permeated our culture.

davidk on January 19, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Allow me to make my position a little clearer. I think it is the responsibility of both the citizens and their representative government to promote good morals, and to censor certain things which are a bad influence on society. It is true that the church must lead, but the church cannot lead, if family and society does not follow. It is only when all of our society(including our government) promotes righteousness and condemns vice, that a truly just society can flourish.

However, laws must fit the people to whom are being governed. Our society has grown so corrupt, that trying to censor many of these things now certainly would not yield the intended result. We are losing battle after battle and being forced to retreat further and further back. That is not to say the we should retreat altogether and forever, or become lax in our own morals, only that we alter our strategy of attack. Or as Samuel Adams so accurately put it:

“The sum of all is, if we would most truly enjoy the gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people; then shall we both deserve and enjoy it. While on the other hand, if we are universally vicious and debauched in our manners, though the form of our Constitution carries the face of the most exalted freedom, we shall in reality be the most abject slaves.”

NeverLiberal on January 19, 2013 at 12:25 PM

I blame the Three Stooges for my rampage of poking people in the eye.

John the Libertarian on January 19, 2013 at 12:33 PM

…there’s only SO much…he can do…in the back there!

KOOLAID2 on January 19, 2013 at 12:22 PM

I seriously think he needs to go on a retreat down to Texas for a month or so to re-calibrate.

As an aside, have you ever noticed that all those morning clowns wear the same nerdy glasses that must be the new “hip” for politicos. First it was Steve Ratner, then Joe Scarborough, then a week later Tom Brokaw shows up wearing them, and then Barnicle follows. Just waiting for Cornelius Huntsman to seal the deal. Lemmings!

See for yourself.

Ratner: http://www.mediaite.com/tv/former-obama-adviser-rebuts-attack-ad-on-romney-bain-did-nothing-to-be-embarrassed-about/

Joe: http://politix.topix.com/homepage/3735-scarborough-to-republicans-reject-far-right-with-a-punch-in-the-face

Brokaw: http://www.thefrisky.com/2012-11-07/election-night-style-stealer-tom-brokaws-rad-round-eyeglasses/

Barnicle: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/10/04/barnicle_the_president_had_no_teleprompter_last_night.html

can_con on January 19, 2013 at 12:43 PM

Government’s place is to punish those who break the rules we collectively agree upon as defining civilized conduct. It’s not to preemptively regulate what we see, hear or legally do to make sure we don’t go off the deep end.

Jazz, these two sentences should be tattooed on the eyeballs of every legislator in the USA.

However, when I read your remark about “the rules we collectively agree upon as defining civilized conduct,” I have to say that these days there’s less observance of the rules…or less collective agreement about the rules…than there used to be.

The reasons are manifold. The deterioration of the structure of the American family. Less adherence to the Judeo-Christian ethic. Progressive education.

It all adds up to a deterioration in the social order. We shouldn’t be surprised that government is more willing than ever before to force us–or attempt to force us–to behave as we did in the recent past, when more of us voluntarily followed the rules defining civilized conduct.

Nature abhors a vacuum, after all. When parents abrogate their responsibility for what their children see and hear and read–or for the soft drinks they consume–there will be no shortage of public people willing to take on those formerly private responsibilities. It’s for our own good, after all.

Owen Glendower on January 19, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Government’s place is to punish those who break the rules we collectively agree upon as defining civilized conduct.

Not true. The government’s role in life is to secure and protect individual rights. “Collective agreements” are not the civilized way to conduct government policy.

Steve Stoddard on January 19, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Less adherence to the Judeo-Christian ethic.

While nihilism is replacing the more traditional “Judeo-Christian ethic,” it remains a huge problem that the basically altruist “Judeo-Christian ethic” is incompatible with freedom, capitalism, and individual rights. Going “back to religion” is as much a dead end as going “forward with fascism.” That is, Obama and Romney were both on the wrong tracks.

Steve Stoddard on January 19, 2013 at 1:02 PM

When it comes to violence in entertainment the only thing I’m condemning is the hypocrisy from liberal actors who think I should turn in my guns.

Yakko77 on January 19, 2013 at 1:06 PM

My Fellow Hot Airheads…

For us to combat the ‘Secular-Left’ media, we need to turn their butts OFF–and push cool alternatives.
One such alternative is INTELLECTUAL FROGLEGS…it’s Conservative Brain Candy. As discovered at MoonBattery and Alfonzo Rachel..

In the words of Mark Levin—Thank me later

deedtrader on January 19, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Government’s place is to punish those who break the rules we collectively agree upon as defining civilized conduct.

Not true. The government’s role in life is to secure and protect individual rights.“Collective agreements” are not the civilized way to conduct government policy.

Steve Stoddard on January 19, 2013 at 12:53 PM

We the People of the United States

1. in Order to form a more perfect Union,
2. establish Justice,
3. insure domestic Tranquility,
4. provide for the common defence,
5. promote the general Welfare,
6. and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,

do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

NeverLiberal on January 19, 2013 at 1:12 PM

While nihilism is replacing the more traditional “Judeo-Christian ethic,” it remains a huge problem that the basically altruist “Judeo-Christian ethic” is incompatible with freedom, capitalism, and individual rights. Going “back to religion” is as much a dead end as going “forward with fascism.” That is, Obama and Romney were both on the wrong tracks.

Steve Stoddard on January 19, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Incompatible with freedom? Which freedom would this be exactly?
The freedom to sin? 2Peter 2:19,

While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

Incompatible with capitalism? What do you know of Scritpure’s teaching in this area? I suppose you are a SPE (self-proclaimed expert) on the Bible even though you don’t believe in it?

Incompatible with individual rights? Where do you think rights derive from? If there is not a God ultimately enforcing punishment against violatiors of your rights, then what value do your rights have? 2Peter 2:10,12-13,

10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.

12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;

13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;

NeverLiberal on January 19, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Although there were arcades and Ataris earlier, the modern age of video games is usually dated to the introduction of the Nintendo in the early 80s.

Over the past 30 years video games have gotten progressively more realistic and violent. At the same time, movies have become more violent and gory. And, throughout all of this, the rates of violent crime were going down. Not up. Down.

Now, a whole lot goes into crime stats – for instance, we could be a more violent people due to exposure to violent media but be more peaceable because of better enforcement.

I just think that before anyone talks of regulating, shaming, outlawing, etc they should actually do a better job of establishing a causative link between violent media and violent people. I realize there are some studies showing a link between boys watching wrestling and being more likely to play aggressively. There have also been studies of boys playing shooters like Call of Duty in squads and then being more likely to be helpful and cooperate afterward. In other words, no clear line between watching/playing X and having undesirable behavior Y.

We should establish that long before we talk about what needs to be done.

JadeNYU on January 19, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Violence in video games, violence in movies… it’s very easy to make a case against them.

.
I am not sure if you are simplifying the problem to fit your argument …

… or if you are so engulfed by the larger problem you are unable to see it.

Violence in video games and movies is the visible tip of the iceberg.

The OTHER 7/8ths of the iceberg is a society which celebrates sociopathic behaviors.

Sociopath – A person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience.

We are producing them in record numbers (gang members, drug dealers, habitual liars, addicts, violent offenders, etc, etc, etc) and making celebrities out of the worst of them (50 cent, the Kartrashians, Lindsey Lohan, Chris Brown, the Kennedy family, Bill Clinton).

People are addicted to shows like “The Sopranos”, “Sons of Anarchy” and “Dexter”. All of which celebrate sociopathic values. I grew up in New York when the guys in organized crime were in their heyday. They were NOT conflicted about what they were doing for a living.

They were ruthless, cold blooded pigs.

The sociopaths even have the communication monopoly of the MSM keeping them in the limelight and pimping their behavior.

Exhibit A: The President of the United States of America who is daily celebrated for pursuing policies which are known to be destructive, promotes social disharmony and has a complete lack of conscience.

This is a country rapidly being destroyed by the media which has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to two things:

1) Creating “content” at the lowest possible cost celebrating the worst of ALL behaviors.

2) Insuring they will remain unfettered and unquestioned in their pursuit of $ 50+ billion in revenues annually by subsidizing the politicians who will turn a blind eye.

THIS is the conversation this country needs to have and, in theory, conservatives should be as committed to starting this conversation as they are to the Second Amendment.

PolAgnostic on January 19, 2013 at 3:17 PM

Given the actual rarity of mass shootings, this reminds of a classic Onion headline “Cool toy banned because of three stupid dead kids”.

ktrich on January 19, 2013 at 3:57 PM

I dunno…compared to the Roman Empire I think we’re pretty tame with regards to being a violent culture

We’ve even made progress in law when compared to the English law of Dickens time and in France you are presumed guilty and must prove innocence in the court of law.

Where we do seem to be making headway is in cultural stupidity, ably accomplished through poor education of both teachers and students, an irresponsible propagandistic media and corrupt politicians who lack the rhetorical skill to make the case and having demonstrated contempt toward the hoi polloi can’t even deliver bread and circuses properly to assuage the discontented.

Since we don’t have territories empires traditionally had to dump hoi polloi into to ease the pressure, this will probably end badly?

Afterall….The Romans collapsed and we had to muddle through the reconstruction period of the Middle Ages to get to the enlightenment and begin our American Adventure. Perhaps we will have to reconstruct again to rid ourselves of this progressive chimera which leads to lunacy and tyranny.

workingclass artist on January 19, 2013 at 5:43 PM

While nihilism is replacing the more traditional “Judeo-Christian ethic,” it remains a huge problem that the basically altruist “Judeo-Christian ethic” is incompatible with freedom, capitalism, and individual rights. Going “back to religion” is as much a dead end as going “forward with fascism.” That is, Obama and Romney were both on the wrong tracks.

Steve Stoddard
on January 19, 2013 at 1:02 PM

.
Incompatible with freedom? Which freedom would this be exactly?
The freedom to sin? 2Peter 2:19,

While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

Incompatible with capitalism? What do you know of Scritpure’s teaching in this area? I suppose you are a SPE (self-proclaimed expert) on the Bible even though you don’t believe in it?

Incompatible with individual rights? Where do you think rights derive from? If there is not a God ultimately enforcing punishment against violatiors of your rights, then what value do your rights have? 2Peter 2:10,12-13,

10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.

12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;

13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;

NeverLiberal
on January 19, 2013 at 1:56 PM

.
Here’s the deal, Steve’ … Judeo-Christian ethics are incompatible with atheism.

Militant atheists will never accept the premise, that engaging in “hedonistic activities of pleasure” causes trouble for everyone around them.
Militant Christians will never concede that “hedonistic activities of pleasure” don’t cause problems for all others close around those practicing it.

In this country’s history, there has always been “sinful behavior”, and there’s more than room enough for Christians in that category. But it was always stigmatized, and looked down upon by EVERYBODY.
Even atheists felt a sense of public shame if sinful activities by individuals became “public information”.

That all began to change after approx 1968, with the Counter Culture movement.

Now, atheists demand that there be no “public stigma” upon what previously had been. It has progressed more, and more since the 1970s.
Christians are beginning to push back these progressive standards of redefining “normal”. That’s the real fight currently taking place within the Republican Party.

Militant Christians aren’t going to back down, and militant atheists aren’t going to back down. Where does that leave us?

listens2glenn on January 19, 2013 at 6:00 PM

PolAgnostic on January 19, 2013 at 3:17 PM

.
I’m sure if I go through that with a big magnifying-glass, looking for something to disagree with you on, I’ll find some minor point.

Forget that . . . . . . WELL STATED.

listens2glenn on January 19, 2013 at 6:11 PM

While nihilism is replacing the more traditional “Judeo-Christian ethic,” it remains a huge problem that the basically altruist “Judeo-Christian ethic” is incompatible with freedom, capitalism, and individual rights. Going “back to religion” is as much a dead end as going “forward with fascism.” That is, Obama and Romney were both on the wrong tracks.

Steve Stoddard on January 19, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Pagan cultures have always been more violent than christian cultures because in pagan cultures the value of individual life is judged by the group as to it’s usefulness to the group…All pagan cultres are utilitarian by nature.

Paganism is a system that does not value life equally or beyond the inherent use of the living

Paganism is a system that organizes through the objectification of individuals to service the state.

Atheism is a Pagan religious system that substitutes the state and cult personalities that exemplify the values of the state in order to subjugate individuals to groups and to break traditional familial and tribal loyalties.

Judeo-Christian cultures are not primarily utilitarian and it is a fundamental principle within the value structure of the system that the value of the individual is intrinsic to the creation of that individual by their creator and that natural law governs the humane governance of the culture.

Judeo-Christian Religions strengthen the familial and tribal bonds of communities in dissent to the state if the values of the state thwart those bonds that promote the equal value of each and every life at every stage of life. This ideal philosophical and moral principle was realized more completely with the development of christianity from Judaism in particular. Christians abhorred human sacrifice,divorce,abortion and infanticide as well as the murder of the infirm,aged and the social outcasting of widows and incorporated a charity system as a social justice system beyond the earlier strictures of judaic law during the temple period.

workingclass artist on January 19, 2013 at 6:23 PM

There will always be agents of christian thought and action who will defy and undermine through christian charity,education,organization and just warfare the temporary tyranny of any pagan state.

workingclass artist on January 19, 2013 at 6:29 PM

Militant Christians aren’t going to back down, and militant atheists aren’t going to back down. Where does that leave us?

listens2glenn on January 19, 2013 at 6:00 PM

If the militant athiests win, it’ll leave us with a reincarnation of the USSR. Ask a survivor of that era what life was like.

In their march toward a godless dystopia, athiests will care nothing for the body count they rack up or how many rights they trample. Because without a God, your ‘rights’ are only good until their koo-koo kangaroo court suddenly decides different.

MelonCollie on January 19, 2013 at 7:05 PM

Pagan cultures have always been more violent than christian cultures because in pagan cultures the value of individual life is judged by the group as to it’s usefulness to the group…All pagan cultres are utilitarian by nature.

Paganism is a system that does not value life equally or beyond the inherent use of the living

Paganism is a system that organizes through the objectification of individuals to service the state.

Atheism is a Pagan religious system that substitutes the state and cult personalities that exemplify the values of the state in order to subjugate individuals to groups and to break traditional familial and tribal loyalties.

Judeo-Christian cultures are not primarily utilitarian and it is a fundamental principle within the value structure of the system that the value of the individual is intrinsic to the creation of that individual by their creator and that natural law governs the humane governance of the culture.

Judeo-Christian Religions strengthen the familial and tribal bonds of communities in dissent to the state if the values of the state thwart those bonds that promote the equal value of each and every life at every stage of life. This ideal philosophical and moral principle was realized more completely with the development of christianity from Judaism in particular. Christians abhorred human sacrifice,divorce,abortion and infanticide as well as the murder of the infirm,aged and the social outcasting of widows and incorporated a charity system as a social justice system beyond the earlier strictures of judaic law during the temple period.

workingclass artist on January 19, 2013 at 6:23 PM

There will always be agents of christian thought and action who will defy and undermine through christian charity,education,organization and just warfare the temporary tyranny of any pagan state.

workingclass artist on January 19, 2013 at 6:29 PM

.

listens2glenn on January 19, 2013 at 6:00 PM

.
If the militant athiests win, it’ll leave us with a reincarnation of the USSR. Ask a survivor of that era what life was like.

In their march toward a godless dystopia, athiests will care nothing for the body count they rack up or how many rights they trample. Because without a God, your ‘rights’ are only good until their koo-koo kangaroo court suddenly decides different.

MelonCollie on January 19, 2013 at 7:05 PM

.
Y’all are making me damn proud !: )

listens2glenn on January 19, 2013 at 8:30 PM

Less adherence to the Judeo-Christian ethic.

While nihilism is replacing the more traditional “Judeo-Christian ethic,” it remains a huge problem that the basically altruist “Judeo-Christian ethic” is incompatible with freedom, capitalism, and individual rights. Going “back to religion” is as much a dead end as going “forward with fascism.” That is, Obama and Romney were both on the wrong tracks.

Steve Stoddard on January 19, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Ayn Rand fan?

As much as I like some of what she has to say, Ayn Rand almost criminally misunderstood Christianity, leading her to suggest it was only an appropriate religion for slaves.

There’s nothing incompatible with Christianity and freedom, or capitalism, or individual rights. Ayn Rand and others seem to believe that Christianity is opposed to any form of pleasure or gratification. But that is hardly accurate.

For instance, sex is not against Christian morals. Christianity simply teaches that it should be done within marriage. Eating and enjoying a good meal is not a sin, but gluttony is. When you take a good thing and carry it to an extreme, it becomes bad.

Capitalism is simply making money. It is only sinful if you cheat someone else in order to make that money.

Those who chafe against any restrictions, who insist on living their lives in excess, may well reject the morals taught in the Christian faith. But in truth, unlimited indulgence is harmful, and ultimately not even possible in a society where others have the same rights. Sooner or later, one person’s rights conflict with another, and we have to face the fact that every freedom we have is inherently somewhat limited.

One very obvious example often given is the fact that our freedom of speech does not mean we have the right to yell “Fire” in a crowded theater. No freedom is absolute.

To bring it back to guns, our Second Amendment right is not absolute. It can be reasonably regulated. The problem we have is that the gun grabbers want to go beyond necessary limitations and start telling everybody, “you don’t need that.” And ultimately, the question is not “what do you absolutely need,” but “what restrictions are absolutely needed.”

The first question assumes you’re a ward of the state, and leads to politicians saying things such as, “nobody needs more than x rounds in a magazine.” The second question assumes you’re a free man, and leads to questions like, “If you’re a convicted felon, or mentally unstable and dangerous to others, is it finally time to restrict your access to guns.”

There Goes The Neighborhood on January 20, 2013 at 12:54 AM

OT: Earl Weaver dead.

davidk on January 19, 2013 at 11:31 AM

Stan Musial as well.

Mitoch55 on January 20, 2013 at 1:08 AM