Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Politically correct witch hunts: getting worse; reframing evil: getting worse


In this world without God, this world of Leftist pseudo-utilitarianism and the mass media treated as moral arbiters, things continue to get worse: oh yes they do, and don't be persuaded otherwise.

Yet another friend of mine - the evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller - has become a victim of a witch hunt driven by the Politically Correct thought police; but this time for a non-offence, an utterly insignificant quip on Twitter which has been amped-up into an international fake moral crisis, a saturation bombing of bogus and spiteful punditry, and an excuse for unrestrained hatred and victimization.

It is an issue of such triviality that I am not going to discuss it: I refuse to discuss it because to discuss such triviality is to be drawn into the media agenda and to defer to the authority of sheer evil.

But the personal consequences of being a victim of this kind of thing are extremely severe - it feels like having a target painted on your chest, because it is treated as such.


On the other side of the coin is the way in which gross acts of violent riot and terrorism are incrementally and purposively re-framed by the media when the perpetrators are members of Leftist-approved groups.

Atrocities may have been witnessed, even recorded, by tens, hundreds, even thousands of witnesses - and the identity of the aggressors and killers is beyond question; yet - in a travesty and misunderstanding of justice - the perpetrators identities and identifying features are shielded, narratives are carefully re-framed, reports are of those vaguely 'arrested for', 'charged with', 'alleged' and 'accused' (as if there was any reasonable doubt!) - and stories emerge of the perpetrators real or alleged hardships, their supposed difficulties, their asserted kindnesses, their idealism, the fact that their guilt is denied by their families... and so on.


(The fact is that these are robbers, arsonists, muggers, killers - that is known; the only uncertainties related to whether the legal system will find them guilty. e.g. They are not alleged to be killers - they did kill, and they are the people who killed - whatever conclusion the legal system may reach about what legal category they fall into.)


Within an extraordinarily brief period, the Left-favoured perpetrators become de facto victims - and invariably victims (to put the matter shortly) of the attitudes, motivations and behaviour of Right Wingers.

No atrocity is so extreme that a couple of weeks of mass media re-framing cannot reverse the public perception of any issue and make anyone into an object of sympathy - literally any issue and any-one.


THIS is what it is to live in a world without God, a world of moral relativism and without a conception of objective truth.

On the one hand the most microscopic, atomic human behaviour - a single sentence perhaps, even a single word or facial expression or gesture; even just a report or unsubstantiated allegation of a sentence or a word - can be exploded into an international scandal which lasts for weeks, months or even years.

Literally nothing is too trivial to become the most important thing in the world - discussed by government officials, highbrow journalists, senior academics and in a million social interactions worldwide.

Literally nothing is too trivial to lead to court cases, fines, deliberate financial ruin, sacking, prison.


While on the other hand, people who certainly have done and are known for sure to have done horrific acts of brutal violence - rape, torture, maiming, murder - can be and are made into oppressed victims; deserving of sympathy; or heroes, fighting for justice; or ordinary decent folk who are being harshly judged for some momentary aberration under stress... or in fact anything the media wants.


The situation as it is NOW is impossible to exaggerate, impossible to parody, beyond Orwell, beyond Kafka.

As a society we have handed over our very souls - the highest evaluations of truth, beauty and moral virtue - to the mass media.

As a society we believe what the media tell us: Oh Yes We Do. Ask the real victims, the victims of PC witch hunts and they will tell you. People believe the media, and they act on those beliefs.


And it is getting worse, and it will keep getting worse, and nothing at all can be done about it - unless or until we repent our social apostasy from transcendental truth, from the reality of the real, from God.

Without that basis, we will get more, and more, and more of the same.


Advance note to prospective commenters - Read My Lips: This is an issue of such triviality that I am not going to discuss it: I refuse to discuss it. Nor will I publish comments discussing it.


Arakawa said...

"But the personal consequences of being a victim of this kind of thing are extremely severe - it feels like having a target painted on your chest, because it is treated as such."

This also explains a lot of the shape of the secular Right -- since the type of people who enjoy (or, at least, cannot refrain from) behaving in a way that arouses hatred and hysteria, are the ones who find it easiest to dissent from the insane modern consensus.

Maximo Macaroni said...

In a way, the insane modern tactic of overreacting to unpalatable truths has one healthful result: It teaches the sane among us that there is much to fear and that compromise is not only evil but futile. How does one reason with those who deny reality?

Bruce Charlton said...

@MM - That is what it teaches you and me - but what others learn from it (and what we are all supposed to learn from it) is to be terrified into perpetual self-censorship, fawning submission to 'authority', and eventually inert silence.

Valkea said...

Ok, I don't say anything about Miller case.

But I say this. Liberal system has been known to be a soft totalitarian and/or liberal fascism (among others Goldberg, 2007). Lately it has become harder more openly. It was to be expected, because the more entrenched they become, the more profound they surveillance and control of the society's machinery is, the more they can let their aggressive power impulses free reign. Take a look at the following case. Amish leaders have been sentenced to 7-15 years in prison for cutting beards and hairs in a "hate" crime trial. Killers in manslaughter cases receive lesser penalties. They correspond to the sentences of Soviet Union:


Beard and hair cutting (the most extreme, unusual and rare form of Amish punishment, and not used in most of the Amish groups) is symbolic violence and it is efficient among Amish. State has to use real violence, suppression, prison sentences (and perhaps death penalties), massive propaganda, police forces, prison-industrial complexes, massive legal systems, intrusive surveillance etc. Amish social organization and power is in every way more efficient than state power, i.e. it requires less energy, less time, less resources, less social disruption, less personal damage, less manipulation etcetera, and it is in every way more humane, friendly and social way of operating. In a mind confusing manner state perpetrates in reality by sentencing the Amish the same category of crime which it accuses the Amish of, but in more grave manner, requiring logically and commensurately many death sentences as punishment, if there would be a fair trial of state bureaucrats involved.

Bruce Charlton said...

@V - Thanks for that information. I agree, this represents crossing another line.

One thing I find horrifying about this kind of thing is that I know if the subject came up in general conversation, most 'reasonable' people would fail to be outraged or appalled and would in fact probably support the government action - simply because that is the way that the media has framed the reports.

And they fail to realize that when the media arbitrate your morality (instead of God), then nothing is forbidden, anything is possible, and the only strategy possible is destruction.

Conversations about major news topics have become impossible for me - there is such a dense and interconnected set of lies in support of media morality, that the majority of people simply cannot comprehend the scale of falsehood built on falsehood without their heads exploding.

FHL said...

"Conversations about major news topics have become impossible for me - there is such a dense and interconnected set of lies in support of media morality, that the majority of people simply cannot comprehend the scale of falsehood built on falsehood without their heads exploding."

I know. Oh, I know.

The last time I posted here was to complain about the chaos and confusion which is choking the industry in which I am employed. I have been brooding over it ever since. When asked by friends or family on my opinion of why I think (as do several others older and much more knowledgeable than me) that the roofing industry, and secondary to that the status of the home construction industry in a general as well, is in serious trouble, I have decided to simply answer as such: "It's turtles all the way down!"

And my mother just spent two hours today talking about how I should get a "real job", for people with college degrees such as myself, a job with "benefits" and a "steady and safe salary," she said, instead of working in some "silly uneducated handyman's" trade, because I'm too good for that, she said, I could really be someone, someone important, "maybe you could be a professor," she said, and even my priest agreed with her, telling me in a separate conversation a few weeks ago "You have a college degree, so you should get a job inside an office at a desk with a computer, and not be climbing out on top of people's houses with a tape measure!"

I don't even know how to reply to this, so I just say, "You don't understand." The measuring of the roof is actually my favorite part of the job, since there is no propaganda, nor any half-truths or white-lies, nor do I have an overwhelming sense paranoia that I am being lied to by someone, but I just can't figure out who, or that someone has told a lie to my customer and they have fallen for it but have chosen not to reveal their new ideas to me, none of that stuff is there up on top of the roof, instead I can just measure the surface area using a tape measure and geometry and I can be in some damned peace for once!

But as soon as I get back to the office, as soon as I sit down in front of the desk and the computer to do the other part of my job, I find myself in this ridiculous world, like I've just entered the Twilight Zone, like I've crossed over to Narnia through the office door, a much stupider and much more fictional Narnia, and I find myself speaking with the most ridiculous people (not so much among my company, although it does occur, but among other parties I need to contact) who have decided that geometry should be put on hold for a couple of days since the numbers don't appeal to them, suggesting that I listen to reason and abandon the principles of math to use some formula that makes no logical sense, which has been created and exists for Lord-knows-who's ulterior motives right before they hang up but not until they leave a little hint, a little friendly warning, that by believing mathematical truths may actually be true instead of just an opinion, I may be actually committing a state felony, as well as impersonating a lawyer, since only they can legally use math in lieu of the Twilight Zone formulas, and then I realize the whole truck-full of nonsense is just beginning for the day and things will only get weirder, never do they progress to be more reasonable, so no mother and no Fr., while we are all in agreement that the home repair and construction industry isn't the greatest, I cannot say much more than that without you thinking I've gone crazy!

And this is in roofing! A real, concrete industry with a visible, solid product that serves an actual undeniable and easily observed function! I can only image how much nonsense a fully-funded University philosophy department could produce! My goodness!

Sorryabout therant justhitcharacterlimit dospacescount?

stephens said...

I think it interesting from a christian perspective that it is now going beyond just having to keep your mouth shut.
It will hinder most people nowadays trying to attain the decent job they are seeking if they actually carried out all of the mandatory steps specified in their "Jobseeker's agreement" they are therefore faced with a choice of lying weekly or being "sanctioned".
And once you have your job you cannot just do it effectively and get on with others you must periodically sign to say you agree with "Diversity policy" and looking at the faces at every mandatory "Diversity" meeting most are lying when they do so.
For many, life can become quite difficult if you don't become a habitual liar.
It goes against Biblical teaching for a christian to lie, indeed the Bible warns us of the the source of untruth.
I find it quite unsettling that in such a short space of time Western Governments have become, in my eyes, evil dressed up as good.
Lying, theft, abortion, divorce, family breakdown, depression indeed all sorts of ills are becoming the norm as a result of policy that has been dressed as a greater good.
Only evil could look at the results of such policies and thank itself for a job well done!

Ben said...

You make the right decision not to publish the despicably small triviality.

The wanton destruction of this, the shear evil nihilism of it is breathtaking. Makes me physically sick.

Bruce Charlton said...

@stephens - part of this is that now everybody is always in breach of some regulation or law - either for lying, or for failing to lie; so 'they' can always 'get you' any time they want to.

FHL said...

Sorry for the incoherence of the last comment I sent.

I was coming into your post having stayed up all night reading published articles concerning the insurance claims process as it pertains to a homeowner's policy (in the U.S.). I looked at both roofing websites and insurance websites, and yet only two out of the 40-some sites I checked could remain fully honest as to how the process clearly works, with about half of the sites being misleading to the point that their advice would be more harmful to the ignorant than it would help, and the other half simply being so vague or generally uninformative, that they could not be taken in any useful way.

And I know why. The results were almost exactly what I expected to find, and as far as I can tell, there are only five reasonable possibilities:
1) it's because they profit from their customer's lack of knowledge.
2) it's because they fear retaliation from those who do.
3) it's because they want to make a guide/book/class teaching customer's how not to get cheated and then sell it for profit.
4) it's because they are incompetent and don't actually understand the process themselves.
5) it's because they do not think the homeowner will believe the truth even after it is explained to them.

(When I tell people the truth about how the property claims process goes, and how the dollar amount which you receive is actually calculated, they often can't believe me. They hide their paperwork from me and tell me their claim is not of my business*. I found myself yelling over the phone to one of my customers once "It's a trick! You're insurance company is tricking you! I know it's hard to believe, but they took advantage of your trust and tricked you! You just have to trust me on this; what you think is going to happen is NOT what is actually going to happen!" He didn't believe me. We didn't do his roof, as I told him we couldn't do it until he trusted us. He got a terrible deal in the end. I didn't get any joy out of his fate, he had no obligation to believe me. And I don't like tricks.

*Actually it is my business, and although, technically, I could propose a bid and get the work done on your roof without ever seeing your paperwork, neither the laws nor the claims process nor the policies themselves are set up to work that way, and in the end it wouldn't be worth it to either you nor me. Like I said before: what you think is going to happen is NOT what is actually going to happen.

And also, very, very few sites will ever reveal how the insurance even decides what to pay per item. Therefore, customers never know that I already know what the insurance is giving them. While I do not know the total amount they have listed, that is because we have different measurements, but I know what they pricing everything at. People act as if the insurance companies just barf out payments at random, "The insurance payed me whatever they paid me! Not your business" they say, as if the insurance pays out claims to individuals based on how they're feeling that moment, or based on the stars and position of the moon. Of course not, there are enough games and nonsense going around I don't need you adding any more to it. I can tell you what they're listing as their estimate costs for every square of shingles down to the penny, and I can do this for almost any item possible, and you can check your estimate to see if I was right. Occasionally they will be different, but not more than a few cents.

So anyways, that was all to say I was already furious coming into your post, which led to the rambling. But it turns out I'm still pissed, which is why I'm still rambling about roofing and insurance work right now. So sorry again.

FHL said...

“part of this is that now everybody is always in breach of some regulation or law - either for lying, or for failing to lie; so 'they' can always 'get you' any time they want to. “

SOOO VERY TRUE! OH SO VERY TRUE! Many roofing companies have just given up with laws in Texas. Laws? What laws? Companies will publish advertisements promising special deals and kick-back benefits that are technically considered felonies... in the friggin' newspapers!

(this pertains to a sometimes clear, at other times nebulous crime referred to as "deductible fraud" or "paying the deductible")

Some companies with a very principled and strict view towards the law* will try to contact the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) to report the breaches of the law they see all around them, but the TDI has decided to respond to the situation by plugging their ears and saying "LALALA! WE CAN'T HEAR YOU! WE'RE TOO BUSY PUBLISHING REPORTS NO ONE READS AND CLARIFYING DETAILS CONCERNING LAWS NO ONE FOLLOWS!"

And the laws are so complex, and so vague, that the police will only issue warnings and never arrest, if that, not being sure when it is that the law has actually been breached. And apparently it has been ruled by a subsequent Texas court ruling that the issue of whether or not a law is being broken comes down to how the crimes in question are carried out. Apparently, if you change you the order slightly and use different terminology**, you are no longer breaking the law, even though you are really doing the exact same thing as someone who is breaking the law. The reason they gave for this ruling is that the law doesn't specifically mention those words and those actions. This can only mean that the Texas government doesn't even understand the laws themselves, and is so confused by them that they cannot tell when the crime is occurring unless someone commits it using the exact terminology used in the penal code!

*That is admirable, in my opinion, but misguided. As the way things are looking, it will soon be the case that no matter what you do, if you are involved in any way with roofing in Texas you will always in the breach of some law. The laws keep getting more and more vague and more and more inclusive, until it really will be impossible to be legal unless "they" approve.

People usually don't believe me, thinking that more laws are a good thing, needed to remedy the chaos, but the day when everything is illegal is coming. I'm going to guess. And it's not an unreasonable guess- they're already picking and choosing what laws to enforce, what laws to ignore, and when it is that they wish to enforce them; and patterns are developing, patterns that don't look good.

**"Waiving" a deductible is apparently NOT considered the same as "paying" a deductible, even though the intent and outcome of the actions are exactly the same.

FHL said...

...sorry... but you know what? I'm not gonna apologize anymore. I'm gonna talk about roofing and insurance and you can't stop me! I don't even feel all that bad since you have choice whether to post it or not!

And now your readers in Texas will understand how to properly view their property repairs.


But I really must tell you that if you attempt to investigate exactly what deductible fraud consists of, you will be very likely mislead, and outright lied to in most cases.

You will hear that deductible fraud is harmful to insurance companies; that is (mostly*) false. It is considered insurance fraud since the criminal portion of the crime involves both the roofing company and the customer lying to the insurance company about what was actually paid.

But the difference between a situation involving this crime can only be seen by looking at how much money the roofer and his customer have exchanged; the insurance company doesn't gain or lose anything. The deductible is paid to the roofer. The crime occurs when the roofer doesn't accept the payment. You do not pay the deductible to the insurance company, they have already deducted it from the total cost of the claim, and that re-evaluated price is they will pay. They will occasionally make a half-hearted attempt to claim that they are really losing thousands upon thousands of lost deductibles* but this can be shown to be plainly false. They argue (they actually don't argue, more on that later) that when a roofer declines to take the amount he invoiced as the cost then the customer has not paid his deductible. For example, customer has 1000 dollar deductible, roofer told the insurance co. that the cost of the job was 15000, but really he only took 14000 from the customer, insurance thinks customer paid 15000 so it pays 14000, and since the customer's policy states he pay his deductible first, the insurers should have only paid 13000, not 14000.

However, if the law was enforced, the insurance companies wouldn't save a dime- for ex: roofer invoices 15000, customer pays 15000, insurance would pay 14000. Same as if the criminal act was successfully accomplished, not a difference.

In fact, a moral hazard has appeared where the insurers now have a financial incentive to not report cases of fraud they catch to the authorities since they don't benefit when it occurs behind their back but they cut costs whenever they catch it and deal with it internally. So, perversely, the more insurance fraud is being committed by roofers, the lower roofers get paid and the more insurance companies save, not as some sort of penalty for fraud, but just by the way the economics of the system is.

So we have an odd situation where some roofing companies are furiously demanding that other roofing companies be arrested for defrauding the insurance companies, but the insurers themselves, who are almost always listed (erroneously) as the main victims of the crime, won't lift a finger to stop it.

I told you it was a twisted and convoluted business.

And we haven't even gotten to the good parts yet, where insurers manipulate their own customers into attempting to commit insurance fraud, completely oblivious that they even attempting a crime, thinking it was what the insurance wanted them to do (and, in a twisted way, it was); as well as stories of insurers requesting sub-invoices (costs, no profits, similar to asking Walmart for the invoice of the wholesale price they payed for the lawnmower they are now selling, sub-invoices are absolutely useless and pointless to ask for if you are an insurer... unless you like trick people, that is) and then proceed to demand that the contractors be arrested for fraud when they (quite reasonably) ask for more money.

You can keep going down as far as you want, it probably never ends, it's turtles all the way down!

*A reasonable case can be made that deductible fraud does increase costs for insurers by increasing the total number of claims that get submitted. But apparently no one cares.

Arakawa said...


Judging by your comments, you're probably qualified to write an entire satirical novel about the roofing industry by now. It could well be the next Catch-22.

Dave said...


Thank you for your rant, I never considered the claim-side of home insurance. I'm going to carefully research this issue with respect to my insurance company.

Dave said...


Thank you for your comment, I appreciate learning about the dangers of the insurance industry.

The older I get, the more I realize that I can turn over any institutional rock and find a nasty critter.

FHL said...

Dave, are you employed in the insurance industry, perhaps as an agent, or are you a homeowner who is concerned?

I would like to go more in depth in how exactly it is that people are getting manipulated by their insurance companies (if Dr. Charlton will let me post it in these comments, or if it is too long, I could just make a PDF and host it somewhere, and just link to it), because I've seen it too much, and it really quite disturbs me. I mean, I know business is business, but it's not just undervaluing a claim, I mean it's literally a carefully calculated manipulation to trick the customer into thinking the claims payment process works much differently than it really does in the hopes that he completely screws it up and they don't have to pay him as much as they should. And it works. Brilliantly.

There are bad people in all industries, and roofing is full of them, crooks and liars both, but quite frankly, the insurance companies go much too far, and it is much too pervasive. It's not just a "few bad apples," it is systematic. You can read here about how their attitude is towards their customers: http://www.poppelawfirm.com/blog/bloombergcom-expose-on-how-insurance-companies-cheat-policy-holders-bad-faith.cfm

(I don't know anything about the website or law-firm that is publishing this, but it has been reported on before enough times, and my and my co-worker's and boss's experience with AllState shows it be true.

Anyways, I wanted to know if you were an agent or a homeowner so I would know if I should start with the basics of how the insurance claims process works, or if I should go straight into the nitty gritty?