No Accident

Source: Christianity Today Both Ben and I have struggled somewhat with how to write about the
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  1. Powerful insights, thanks Rusty. I saw and shared a venn diagram floating around twitter last few days with a “you can think all of these things at the same time” message that dovetails with this piece.

    Also, that picture up top, wow. Was your selection there meant as an intentional contrast to another recent photo many viewed of a man holding a bible with the thumb facing the camera (a bit more awkwardly, perhaps, than Mr Floyd did)? It speaks as many words to me as the article, and I’m wondering if those words are all internally generated or if they’re prompted by any motivation on your part.

  2. Awesome work Rusty , I will take issue with only one thing…I think the vast majority feel all those things in that paragraph, although maybe not equally.

    It is good to see how we are herded into our thought lanes and recognizing a problem is the first step??.

  3. I must admit, it didn’t occur to me at all until you just mention it. It is admittedly a powerful juxtaposition.

  4. I hope you are right, Lawrence!

  5. I have a problem with everybody pointing the finger at everybody else. Even this article trying to explain some path; what?

    It’s very simple; those who create poverty are just as guilty as those who steal within it!!!

    There were more protesters than rioter; why didn’t the protestors stand and protect life and property. Were they not protesting some kind of wrongdoing? Everybody standing around watching a man die and nobody stepped in … come on, why are they not arrested and charged? And I’m not talking about the 3 additional police officers.

    Yet everybody protests, everybody riots, everybody writes about it! Hmm.

    Both the Protestors and the Rioters are not only guilty but responsible. And both must be held accountable in a court of law!!!

    Stand in front of a judge and explain yourself.

    I like this word; culpability. The sword cuts both ways as far as I am concerned. No passing the buck here, it’s your fault too!!!

    I joined a group of people, individuals years ago who gathered together to form a bigger part of a group of people, individuals trying to stop Monsanto’s from some issue Monsanto’s was involved with at that time. I thought I was doing something good. Only to discover that the courts, another battle beyond my ability to truly understand stopped Monsanto’s. I was happy because I felt bad … meaning there was something wrong with protesting. I could not put my finger on it at that moment but something was off. I was doing something wrong. Once the word got out that our effort were fruitless, the organizer called a meeting. This meeting was interesting and I quote; “Who do we go after next!” … I said what!!! Next!!! Not me!!! I made the connection …

    Protestors are nothing but Rioters - Rioters are nothing but Protestors. Just a different color.

    Total loss!!!


  6. Tom, I’m not 100% sure that I understand what you’re saying here. I think you are saying that all members of a society share some responsibility for its state. Of course this is true. But despairing at pointing out what is wrong because it might be perceived as looking for someone to blame seems a bit too fatalistic for my tastes.

  7. Meaning vs Definition? I made a discovery years ago, where I was convinced that during the Los Angles Riots three young men were charged with murder in the 1st degree which I agreed with. Only in my shock and horror, these three men go off! Instead, these three men got a lesser charge, I believe it was manslaughter. At that moment I could have been a rioter! I was angry. A week later the defense attorney was interviewed and in my shock and horror, I agreed with the defense attorney. To get a conviction of murder in the 1st degree you must prove “Intent” … and I knew immediately that there was no intent. I was changed forever. I discovered “Meaning” vs “Definition”.

    “Fatalistic” … oops! Didn’t mean that what I meant is that if you choose to stand on either corner, right or wrong, yes or no, the error shows up, if you are going to charge the rioter then you must charge the protestors, both sides equal here.

    Based on everything I see, hear, and read there is a lack of “Meaning”. I only see “Definition”. Meaning is missing.

    I am trying to find meaning to all of this and I continually come up empty. What does all this mean?

    I am no longer interested in being a protestor nor a rioter, thanks to that fateful day, fate if you will.

    I want to choose something higher; “Law and Order” ?? These two words have meaning to me.

    Am I being nieve?


  8. excellent work here Rusty !

  9. You’re actually looking at the Deep State, media division. Both narratives.

    You’re also watching the beginning of state implosion. You can stop worrying about the cops now.

    Or the military, which is now combat ineffective except for point self defense. Seriously, off the table.

    Sergeant Major of the US Army is posting on his official Twitter:

    Trust me; your real problem is there are no men on the walls.

    The good news is you’re going to be able to stop fretting about video brutality, the bad news is it will be in person. Better get a harsher mindset.

    And a crew, one gun is not enough.

  10. This incident–and let’s call it what it is, an extrajudicial killing of one of our fellow citizens by an agent of the state–has revealed an awful lot of the ugly underlying elements in society. The internet, and by extension some places within the flesh-and-blood world, are evidently filled with civil war fetishists and Nazi cosplayers who are just itching to jump into some conflict, ANY conflict, just for the thrill. That modern American life is so staggeringly comfortable for so many of these angry young men appears to mean nothing to them. The anger persists. Perhaps some of it is warranted. Quite a few of us aren’t happy with the institutions that are meant to serve us. But for young men who have the disposable income to spend thousands of dollars on guns and body armor, the notion that their Red Dawn LARPing is anything more than a sign of arrested development is hard to take seriously. And yet they are given an awful lot of media attention, almost as if we are being lead to believe that they represent some great, heretofore unawakened beast that is poised to take down our liberal order. How exactly that became the story rather than George Floyd and the suffering of our brothers and sisters in poverty and despair, is beyond me. If national media cared in the slightest about black lives, if they truly believed that they mattered, the coverage would not just be of protests, but would be wall-to-wall with experts in policing, community activism, and management. We’d have heard a dozen ideas already about how to approach policing in a way that balances the lives of the officers and the lives of the alleged perpetrators. We’d have heard from mayors in cities with low incidents of brutality as they tout their community-based policing strategy. We’d be hearing from mental health experts that would outline the importance of getting better services into poor communities, so that early detection of childhood problems–behavioral, learning, or environmental–could be addressed before they metastasize into a life of crime. We’d be discussing the disbanding of police unions and their powerful hold on local and statewide politics. We’d be figuring out how to purge departments of the bottom 20% of officers every year and replacing them with better-trained, more mentally fit people. But of course we aren’t discussing any of that. Instead it’s white supremacists and ANTIFA. It’s broken windows and looting, Donald Trump and tear gas. We are broken. We have chosen to be broken. We elected to be broken. We ASKED to be broken. Jeff Zucker and Donald Trump are playing the same game, the rewards for each are simply a little different.

  11. A lot of this is really well said. Thank you!

  12. I would say that i enjoyed reading your piece, but enjoyed is not really the right word. I, too, as i am sure of many others, have struggled this past week with all of the imagery and talk being thrown around on the media. My 30 year old son has had CNN on almost 24/7, and while it long ago stopped being a news agency and started being an opinion piece, this has now taken it to new heights. However for those watching, along with fans of late night talk shows, THE VIEW, etc., the narrative has taken over, and the american flag with its anti racist memes (In our America we believe in science, black lives matter, we all love one another…) has now been replaced with Black Lives Matter. If you raise issues such as facts, or if you offer perhaps a different perspective then you become racist, if you are not with us then you are BAD!!!, and so on. the virtue signaling has reached even greater heights than i could have ever imagined. Every corporation, CEO, non-profit, professional organization, and so on has now published statements condemning racism and police brutality. Peaceful protests (with rocks, solvents, bricks, sticks, and occasional rioting and looting) have suddenly been deemed OK, when a few days ago funerals or church services invited arrest and closure. The country has lost its mind, and there is no room left for discussion, or even minor disagreement.
    If i say, as i always have, that police accountability is the issue, and social class is the issue, and crime and single parent families is an issue, whether white or black, i have always been shouted down. I no longer can say any of that because of my white skin. And coming from a 3000 year old civilization that has usually been the target of discrimination still puts me at the bottom of the intersectionality list because i grew up in a lower middle class family and now earn a good living. I cry for what America stood for, and is in danger of losing. And yet the mob, including the media, and a large number of well meaning people who are still screaming, have taken over, and we have not yet seen the backlash, because it has become shouted down rather than engaged.
    Who’s yo’ narrative has now become the order of the day, and it is not pretty. I guess we can only hope that we survive this madness, and figure out a way to talk to each other again without shouting.
    Please continue to write, you guys are the best, and i love YOUR narratives. It does give me hope that there are still enough people left with clear eyes, full hearts, and maybe we can’t lose?
    From a full hearted member of the pack, Barry Newman

    PS I will add that inviting people to join the pack is not easy. When i try to explain any of this, including trying to get people to step out of the matrix, nearly everyone i have discussed any of these issues with (and i only try with people who i think might be willing to open their eyes) essentially refuse to engage (Oh that is a fringe right wing site, oh those are radicals, oh those are …). The narratives have been sold so well that it will be a long and likely painful process to overcome that. But try we will, or as Yoda said: We will Do, or Do Not, there is no try. There is no other option. Thanks again.

  13. I just came across an interesting take on the current situation by Ziad Jilani who basically disassembled the entire narrative of BLM and the WOKE world of whatever. It summarizes many of the things that i have known as facts, but i am told are fake news, and not to be believed. What is more, as a white person, now anything i say becomes suspect if it contradicts the narrative. Worth looking into. I am trying to find his contact information, as i think he would be a good addition to the pack:
    As Penn Gilette said reflecting on “I am not gay, I am not straight, I am Siegfried” : “the only team I want us to be talking about is all 7 billion of us human beings.”

  14. Media Widening the Gyre.
    Divisive narratives designed and engineered to force the Reasonable Middle to choose sides. Playing both extremes against the middle is part of a well honed playbook also called ‘divide et impera’. Been in practical use for millennia.
    Up here in Eugene, Oregon we have had Peaceful Protests of well meaning folks in the evenings and bus loads of well dressed ‘ANTIFA’ dropped off after dark to “Wreck Shit”. Widening the Gyre.
    It is far past time for our culture to renegotiate our relationship with our institutions of ‘Enforcement’.
    We ALL understand that in an encounter with ANY police we can lose our lives, our possessions, our ability to travel (TSA) without recourse. This has gone too far.
    And yet these same ‘Law Enforcement’ folks Stand Down while the agents provocateur burn and loot? What? Why? Widening the Gyre.
    Not an Accident.
    Thanks for the Opportunity to Vent.

  15. Brings to mind parallels with the Indian classic, the Mahabharata.
    The ‘bad guys’ the ruling Kauravas vs the ‘Good guys’ – their cousins the Pandavas.
    By day 14 ( of 18 day war ) both sides had descended to all manner of underhanded tactics and schemes. Both also had their heroic moments when moral values and principles were upheld.
    How to distinguish between the good side and the bad side? Increasingly, their actions were identical……

  16. The first thing I learned over the last 4 years is that the Main Stream Media is no longer a reliable source. The second thing I learned is that the internet is not a reliable source. The third thing I learned is that my go to internet sources are not reliable. Many noteworthy philosophers have tackled epistemology. It is a worthy but seems a hopeless task except as an abstraction. Goodnight Irene

  17. Hey Ben , in part 4 of the Long Now you talk about how the meanings of words have changed as we are being nudged. I see the meaning of the word “violence” being changed as we go through this. The destruction of property is no longer a type of violence or will no longer be in the near future is more accurate.

  18. HI Tom, Perhaps you were more interested in stopping Monsanto due to specific principles/values than you were in the process of “protesting” for its own sake. You had an issue that mattered and personally wanted to impact more than just be against something, while the organizer used the honestly motivated volunteers to justify his existence and paycheck as an organizer of opposition, regardless of issue. Perhaps you felt used as part of a faceless class of “protesters” and not appreciated as a thinking individual.

  19. Excellent job, Rusty. Very clear illustration of how the facts are massaged into managed narratives to serve the purposes of the elite. Keep it up. You will never run out of opportunities, so please pace yourself for a long distance marathon.

    I live three blocks from the nearest fired building and within a mile of the dozen or so burned out blocks. Truly, I do not find either party, nor our local leadership, expressing my own thought and emotions about what happened. We followed it all up close through a FB lead of a young African American that my youngest son knew from a few years at the local high school. He was partying and showing everything up close. Neighbors to the area from various backgrounds: race, age, social class, education, closeness to the epicenter, etc. were devastated. We had seen that section of Lake street gradually, slow improve over the last 25 years, and it disappeared overnight.

    In the late 70s, I worked in South Central LA rehabbing dilapidated housing, purchased on high interest short term loans, to provide multiple dozens of living spaces at fair rents despite rent control. (Everything was to no avail when interest rates rose to 18%, and I could not refinance with conventional loans.) In the late 70s that part of LA still suffered the “bombed out” look from the riots of the late 60s, and that is what this section of Lake Street in Minneapolis looks like today. We were already suffering economically from the COVID-1984 shutdown of the healthcare system and economy, done in tandem with the populace being manipulated into mask and non-mask tribes. Now the consequences of a few days of destruction and anger.

    However, the people have been filling the beaches, almost socially distanced, against city and park rules that had shut them down, closed restrooms and not hired lifeguards. There are some aspects of human nature that still inspire hope, which is why the narrative spinners can never give up lest they lose control of the masses. So pace yourself and keep up with the revealing counterpoint articles along with Ben.

  20. Like! ‘Nuff said

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