“Da Gub’ment”: Lying Liars, or Just Liars?

(I composed this piece before the church shooting yesterday, which I haven’t fully grappled with yet.  These events are not tragedies, by the way: they’re atrocities.)

My wife passed along a link to an article that explained “the truth” behind the Las Vegas slaughter. Seems that George Soros sold his stock in one posh resort and purchased another in deep trouble because he knew the Arab Air Force was taking a holiday in Vegas, and he boarded the whole crew in his new purchase on the condition that they train in helicopters to practice surgical extractions, and this they did for a while… and… and then when what’s-his-name (I’m not going to refresh my memory) opened up as per orders, the Arabs supplied further shooters, and then they offed the Yankee swine so that it looked like a suicide, and then the chopper picked them up, and they were soon back in Riyadh without leaving a fingerprint behind. And George Soros had thus brought the collapse of the United States one step closer by mowing down the attendees of a Country-Western concert, and had also fattened his real estate portfolio.

Or something like that.

I have a few things to say about the “conspiracy” phenomenon. I suppose I should begin by admitting that I didn’t read the article in question very closely. It probably has more merit than I’ve indicated: I just didn’t have the time to plow into all of its tortured intricacy.

As absurd as such wild-and-woolly yarns appear, I will also say that the attitude of the authorities in this and many other such cases primes one to suspect the presence of skeletons in closets. Why is it that the hotel security guard in Vegas with the dubious account of events is still at large? If he’s in Mexico, why has he not been extradited? And why is it that certain survivors of the massacre who contradicted the “one shooter” narrative appear to have turned up dead—or is that also an exaggeration? Since the media are no longer offering any information at all, how is one to process the hysteria-laden fragments that leak out over the Internet?

Do we just trust our avuncular authority figures? I recall that there were one or two cases of Sudden Witness Death Syndrome after 9/11, as well. Were these, too, apocryphal? But why did our beloved Uncle Sam double down on the story that a massive structure compromised mostly on just one side would quite naturally fold up like a telescope straight down into the ground (as opposed to hurling its eventually severed top quarter lengthwise over Manhattan)? How is it that PBS Nova immediately managed to find some academics (I think they were from MIT) who obligingly produced a lab experiment to validate this patent imbecility, imposing parameters on their mini-tower under stress that had little correlation to the actual event? And the event, remember, was repeated not once, but twice, on that fateful day. Three towers neatly telescoped in a fashion that demolition experts must labor weeks to arrange.

Whom should we trust about the Roswell “flying saucer”: the local ranchers and first-responders whose families were thuggishly threatened if they didn’t shut up, or our “heroes in uniform” who apparently couldn’t distinguish one of their own weather balloons from a speeding metallic craft and who cordoned off a huge amount of acreage to collect—on their testimony—balloon guts?

People believe garbage nowadays and gravitate to any kind of conspiracy theory because their government has accustomed them to suppose its agents capable of any kind of duplicity. Look at how the FBI, even as I write, is doing everything it possibly can to stink up the last syllable of yesteryear’s Hollywood PR (farewell, Ephraim Zimbalist, Jr.) as the shilling of James Comey and Robert Mueller for the Clintons leaks from a broken sewer line.

Indeed, I should not be surprised to learn that the harebrained George Soros fantasy about Las Vegas was hatched by a government entity with the express purpose of defaming all conspiracy theories aimed at our courageous authorities. Merely condition the public to roll its collective eyes whenever “da gub’ment” is accused of something dastardly… and you, as a proto-totalitarian government operative, have created a “get out of jail free” card that can be played a dozen times.

I genuinely, sincerely hate this. When officially sanctioned lying becomes ubiquitous, as it has in our failing democratic republic, then one is reduced to trying to live by the maxim, “Believe nothing”… which is impossible.

And I just now have new thoughts about Vegas, which I’ll hold for next time.

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Thoughts on the Las Vegas Gundown

I had planned to post my second half of a Glenn Beck ideological autopsy today, but the occasion demands a change of plans. I don’t have much time to waste… so here goes.

Could the primed-and-scented boneheads of the broadcast media please stop referring to these incidents as tragedies? The word for which you grope, Talking Heads, is “atrocity”. A tragedy occurs when a basically good person is hoist on his own petard through some ill-advised act of excess. An atrocity occurs when some animal in a human hide savages his fellow beings like a tiger in a goat pen.

As I wrote eons ago after the 9/11 atrocity, these events are in part due to the high-tech lifestyle. Huge aircraft sometimes come down in the wrong way—with huge consequences. Speeding bullet-trains sometimes jump the track. If the electricity upon which we depend for food, water, transportation, communication, and even defense should suddenly cease to work (as after an electro-magnetic pulse), our society would number about one-tenth its present size within a year, and the survivors would be living in the Stone Age. The catastrophic “ignition events” to these nightmare scenarios could be either manmade, as by terrorist act, or they could occur naturally. We’re simply living at too fast a pace, and without seat-belts. As we climb higher and higher up the ladder, an innocent slip of the foot or a wicked push from a partner will send us plunging from heights that are ever more certain to prove fatal.

Staging an enormous gathering under a high-rise of any sort is a very bad idea. If the building itself doesn’t fall, then an inexpert psychopath could use its height to pump hundreds of lethal shells down upon the massed crowd. High-velocity bullets that enter the body from above and travel downward are likely to rip apart many more arteries than shots that enter laterally; and in a panicking horde, a severed artery is guaranteed to mean that you bleed out before help arrives. The location of the Country-Western concert, though a local tradition, had become a very bad idea.

Now, this atrocity is scarcely twenty-four hours old, and what I’m about to write is almost pure speculation at the moment… but the specific circumstances surrounding this shooter remind me very much of James Hodgkinson’s profile—you know: the psycho who gunned down Steve Scalise during a softball practice. Both men were white males of middle to late-middle age who were furious at the election of Donald Trump. Both had money to spend and time to kill. Neither was particularly proficient with or enamored of firearms, but both apparently fantasized about the utility of deadly weapons for cleaning society of its inhibitive “scum”. Their outlook on life—and here I’m speculating on the merest of hunches, but I smell the old rat—was jaundiced by a meaninglessness reinforced by atheism, a nexus of shallow personal relationships, and a growing sense of embittered victimhood. Children of my generation, they had been told since their youth that progress was real, would come at an accelerated pace, and would satisfy all their selfish wants. Now they were seeing only stall and delay—all because of right-wing “fascism”.

Hayley Geftman-Gold, described as “a VP and senior counsel in strategic transactions” for CBS, was fired yesterday for tweeting taunts at the shooting’s victims because they were Country-Western fans, and… well, we know that most of those voted for Trump. The side that loves to fling “hater” across the aisle and insists that all of us fascist bourgeois nullities need to be disarmed manifests—if you haven’t noticed—a very real affinity for murderous hatred and for gunning people down. Those Ché tee-shirts they so affect are no accident: they think the Orkin approach to political opposition is entirely acceptable, and even commendable.

Could it be that this is why we’re seeing so many more indiscriminate gundowns of innocent people assembling for innocent fun—is the ideology that finds no innocence in Middle America not the real percussion cap in the atrocity?