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  • Searching for scapegoats… Robby Soave notes the latest: New York Gov. Kathy Hochul Blames the Buffalo Shooting on Social Media.

    When a psychopath perpetrates a mass shooting, politicians often pick an industry, trend, or substance to blame for having caused the violence. Violent video games are a favorite target of both parties—Democratic senators pilloried them throughout the 1990s and early 00s, and former President Donald Trump went after them following the El Paso shooting in 2019—but so are psychiatric medications, Satanism, and of course, the Second Amendment.

    On Saturday, 18-year-old Payton Gendron—a white nationalist conspiracy theorist, according to his online manifesto—traveled to a supermarket in a majority-black area in Buffalo, New York, and killed 11 people, most of them African American. Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has responded to the horrific violence in Buffalo over the weekend with a familiar invective against guns. But she is also pinning the blame on social media. In a Sunday interview with NBC News' Chuck Todd, she faulted online platforms for not doing more to police extremism.

    "It's all induced by the internet," she said. "And the fact that platforms are willing to share this information, allow it to be posted, a manifesto that's been out there that describes in great detail how someone wants to have an execution of individuals in a community that's targeted because it's the highest black population within a geographic area, that's all out there. And also the fact that this can be livestreamed. How long was it livestreamed before someone paid attention?"

    There is an answer to her question: two minutes.

    Robby goes on to detail more wild disinformation emanating from Gov. Hochul. Could someone please report her to the DGB?

  • And then there's mythinformation. Ayaan Hirsi Ali takes to Unherd: Buffalo and the myth of racist America. Skipping to her bottom line:

    In Texas the day after the Buffalo attack, a shootout between five Hispanic men at a crowded flea market left two dead and three wounded. Roughly two hours later in California, a 68-year-old Asian gunman walked into a Taiwanese church and opened fire, killing one person and wounding five others. This is what crime looks like in America. It is chaotic, disordered and irreducible: the skin colour of its victims and perpetrators is far from fixed.

    Racism, then, is not the whole story. In fact, racism has never been the whole story. Yet faced with an election year and an uphill battle to retain the House and Senate this November, perhaps it is unsurprising that so many Democrats are keen to turn the Buffalo shooting into another George Floyd moment: an excuse to deflect difficult questions, and to turn politics into a binary realm of Good and Evil. Once again, we’re told, either you’re with us or you’re a racist — even if being on the side of Good means exploiting the misery of others.

    That California shooter reportedly is a Chinese man "driven by his life-long hatred of Taiwanese people". Which (to me) sounds as odd as a New Hampshire man "being driven by his lifelong hatred of Vermont people."

  • Oh good. We need more cowbell. We've been missing that. Kyle Smith comments on reports: Biden Calls for More Cowbell.

    Sharper elbows? Yeah, that’s what will rescue Joe Biden, according to Joe Biden. He and his staff think it’s time to get tough on the Republicans. So far, according to the legend they are telling themselves, he’s been notoriously conciliatory, bipartisan, and moderate.

    We learn these hilarious fantasies from a Politico piece in which Biden attributes to Republican fever his inability to get anything done despite enjoying unified Democratic Party control of the federal government. The highlight of the piece is this gem: “Privately, Biden has expressed frustration with media coverage of his administration and believes that the press — and Americans at large — have been too quick to gloss over the damage Trump did to the country.” Yes, remember how tempered and restrained the media were as they famously underplayed the actions of Donald J. Trump? Who among us has not thought, over the last few years, “Say, when are the media finally going to stop genuflecting before Trump?”

    Team Biden believes that they can deflect attention from his and their party’s failures by working up some new insult comedy. Here’s what they decided on: to try to make “Ultra-MAGA Republicans” a favorite catchphrase. It’s already come up so many times that it’s on the verge of becoming a national joke: Trying the same dumb thing over and over again to diminishing effect is making Biden the More Cowbell president.

    NRPlus, blah blah blah.

  • There are no controlled guns. There are only controlled people. David Gillette and Lauren Frazier look at Gun Control, States’ Rights, and Bernie Sanders. Numerous fun facts in this long paragraph:

    Stipulating that what works for some may not work for all, we turn to the state of Vermont as an example of responsible gun use and ownership due to its near-zero homicide rate. Other states such as Iowa, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington are close behind with 40 to 51 percent of these states’ population owning at least one firearm, yet each has a firearm death rate of 8.9-14.6 per 100,000 residents, below the 15.1 deaths per 100,000 national average. We cannot, however, attribute Vermont’s success to gun control measures. Vermont, a largely rural state with a Republican governor, has a gun ownership rate exceeding that of Texas. Public Choice Theory explains why Vermont’s representatives, in a state known for Phish, Woodstock, and Ben & Jerry’s, vote in accordance with the state’s many gun owners. Even Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders voted consistently for gun rights before aligning himself closer to the median Democratic voter’s views when he expanded his potential voting pool to a national level less supportive of gun rights than the state of Vermont. Vermont’s remarkable case of many guns and few gun deaths points to the possibility that both the gun control and gun rights camps’ values can live in harmony, but perhaps only on small scales where individual preferences are more likely to be homogenous. Elinor Ostrom finds that the most effective outcomes will occur at the state or local level. Peter Boettke summarizes Ostrom’s work in his book Living Economics by stating that “efficient administration was not a function of…centralized administration, but a by-product of…local communities competing for residents.” Each camp wants to reduce crime and deaths, but they diverge in the method of preventing such violence. Few murders in the presence of many weapons is an idyllic situation, but can we expect the same outcomes if we extrapolate Vermont’s gun legislation to the federal level? Vermont has several other factors that likely contribute to its unusually low rates of violence, including its lack of major metropolitan areas, high owner-occupied housing rates, and low population density. Policymakers do not face these same conditions in most of the country, thus making broad, effective, federal policy quite difficult.

    They argue against sweeping Federal legislation on guns as a "great injustice to American federalism."

    The article contains zero references to the Second Amendment; I'm afraid that makes gun control at least partially a Federal issue.

  • Put not your faith in demographics. Rich Lowry notes the latest instance of a general tactic: Dems advocate high immigration to gain political power — and smear Republicans when called on it.

    The horrific massacre in Buffalo has created a debate about great-replacement theory, the rancid idea that Jews are conspiring to destroy white America by importing non-white immigrants.

    The Buffalo shooter was in thrall to the theory, as have been other racist and anti-Semitic killers.

    The theory should be denounced by all people of good will, and indeed, it thrives only in the most sewerish precincts of the Internet.

    Yet there is an attempt to tar Republicans more broadly with the theory and somehow attribute responsibility for the horror in Buffalo to them on this basis. The argument is that the likes of Elise Stefanik, a Republican congresswoman from New York, have warned that the Democratic Party views immigration as a way to change the electorate in its favor and so are mainstreaming the hateful replacement ideology.

    This is a smear and especially perverse since Republicans sounding the alarm about this Democratic view have been unquestionably correct. There hasn’t been any secretive cabal at work — it’s all been out in the open, discussed by progressive political operatives and think-tank analysts and celebrated in the press.

    For more on that, see this Power Line post: The Replacements.

    But I don't buy the "replacement" theory. Demography is not destiny.

    Sit down kids, and let this grumpy old man tell you a story.

    Back in my youth, I was a fan of the Association, which Wikipedia classifies as a "sunshine pop" band. They were great vocalists, and sang mostly inoffensive songs of love and peace.

    But they also strayed into Social Commentary. For example, "Enter the Young", a paean to the imminent demographic takeover of left wing hippiedom:

    The Association was the opening act at the seminal 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, and "Enter the Young" was their opening number.

    And, kids, they were talking about us! Baby boomers! Who were going to lead us into The Greening of America!

    Yeah, didn't happen. And now, 55 years later, we Boomers are widely seen as The Problem, roadblocks on the path to green democratic socialism.

    I will be safely dead in another 55 years, so I'll make a bold prediction: we still won't have green democratic socialism, and the young 2077 left will blame old people for failing to implement it.

Last Modified 2024-01-17 3:39 PM EDT