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Punching Blindly

Who can answer the most important question of all: now what?

By Petrarch  |  January 9, 2021

From its founding, Scragged has viewed itself as a web-magazine.  This may seem pedantic or pretentious, but it has a very real meaning.

A blog is generally a publication of an individual, mostly revolving around their personal views.  Some blogs can be highly intelligent, others trite.  Some may involve deep knowledge or even research.  The modern blog can be viewed as "journalism" in the classic sense, that is, someone who thinks he has something to say going ahead and saying it, for whatever audience might be found to listen.  But Scragged has always included multiple authors and different, even dissenting voices, so it's not really a blog.

A newspaper reports on current events, written by what we today call "journalists" who used to inform us of their personal observations or investigations of events they saw.  That's why great papers would send war correspondents overseas to watch what went on and write back, and investigative journalists to dig into files and interview witnesses to report truth about corruption or other matters of public relevance.  Scragged isn't that, either - we don't interview people, travel the world (more's the pity), or dig into file cabinets.

No, Scragged has always far more resembled the classic newsmagazines of yore, like Time, Newsweek, even Life, or at our (and their) best, The Economist.  We offer pieces based on heavy research, light philosophy, editorial opinion, even occasional satire or polemics.

As with all products of human minds, we have a distinct point of view.  As with the perspective of any intelligent human mind, it can change over time, as circumstances or evidence indicate.

But this identifies a key weakness of Scragged in particular, and almost certainly, for just about every one of our readers: we are dependent on what we read.

Now, as seekers of truth, we make every effort not to rely on any single source of inherently-biased information.  Naturally, we read other conservative opinion-writers and news sources.  We can't help but be aware of mainstream media reporting.  We also seek out the writers of the far left, who complain bitterly about the centrist corporatism of MSNBC and the New York Times.  The theory has been that seeking out various perspectives and correlating them, will allow greater accuracy in determining the actual truth.

We are noticing to our dismay and horror, that this method is breaking down in potentially crippling ways.

For example: what, exactly, happened at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday?

Lies On Every Side

To watch the mainstream media report, the "Stop the Steal" protest was the second coming of the KKK.  Were there vast, angry throngs? Sure there were.

Was there destruction?  It would seem so - we've seen pictures of smashed windows.  We've heard reports of deaths by heart attack, but was that caused by deplorables or by donuts?  Apparently one police officer was murdered with a fire extinguisher, and if this is accurate, we hope the murderer is speedily brought to justice.

How does this compare to the hundreds of BLM riots that the media and Democrat officeholders applauded all summer?  Was the Capitol burned to the ground?  Was it ransacked?  It would seem not.

Yes, there were individual acts of theft, most notoriously the pilfering of Nancy Pelosi's podium.  We'll be glad to see the thieves in court - every bit as glad as we'd be to see the countless thousands of BLM rioters who waltzed off with everything under the sun from any number of businesses large and small.  Nobody cares about them, though, because they support Democrats.

As far as we can tell, this was, quite literally, a "mostly peaceful" protest.  The actual damage done appears to be the tiniest fraction of one of the hundreds of BLM riots nationwide that have now been memory-holed and perpetrated by a handful of the thousands who attended.

But we do not know.

We've seen reports that there were Antifa instigators in the crowd.  With a crowd that size, it seems hard to imagine that there weren't.  But, there are photos that are claimed to be of known Trump stalwarts, committing obvious acts of criminal mischief.  Do we know, though, that they've been correctly identified?  How would we?

The FBI has announced that there was no Antifa involvement - a handful of hours after the events took place, and knowing that their new boss says Antifa is merely an idea.  Apparently the throngs of black-clad anarchists were a figment of our imaginations?  For all that law enforcement cares about them, they might as well be.  No, by the mere fact that the FBI made such a dogmatic statement so rapidly that they could not possibly know it to be true, we know they cannot be trusted in this matter.

Of course, the news media cannot be trusted, we've known that for years.  But, then, neither can the conservative blogs, which either condemned all the participants with the same broad brush as did the media, or rolled out the hoary old No-True-Scotsman fallacy that anyone committing violence was by definition not a real Trump supporter.  Both are obvious nonsense, corrosive to credibility in the eyes of any sane, rational observer.

Truth and Consequences

If there was ever any doubt, there cannot be now: we are being actively driven in the direction of armed conflict by evil liars who wish us, and all Americans, ill.

For four years, the organs of the Left - basically, America's entire political, media, and academic establishments and everybody with a national platform save the President himself - bellowed that Trump was literally Hitler.  What did they think was going to happen?  If you were an election officer, and literally Hitler was on the ballot, wouldn't it be your moral obligation to cheat to ensure he lost?

Of course, there are multitudes of Americans who devoutly believe that Donald Trump is not literally Hitler, ourselves among them.  Instead, we see a widespread, possibly-coordinated but possibly self-organizing effort of Democrat operatives and Republican squishes in many key states to, yes, steal the election for Joe Biden.

Once again, though, we weren't actually in Fulton County watching suitcases full of ballots being pulled out from under tables after Republican poll watchers were thrown out - or, as the case may be, ordinary vote-counting proceeding using ordinary equipment in the usual way.  How could we possibly know, when we do know we can't trust anyone to tell us the truth?

It does seem to us that the mathematical coincidences are simply overwhelming, beggaring belief that Joe Biden actually won overwhelmingly in just the essential cities and nowhere else.  It seems to us absurd that, when counting ballots, Republican totals could actually go down.

Perhaps there's some rational, fair, just explanation.  Perhaps.  It doesn't seem likely.

And, for millions of Americans who watched a national election be stolen live on TV, and then waited patiently for any American institution to register a peep of protest, only to see every single court door slammed shut in their faces - well, in the immortal words of AOC, which one day will be engraved on the frontispiece of a scholarly work explaining the origins of the Second American Civil War and/or the Fall of the American Republic:

I believe injustice is a threat to the safety of all people. Because once you have a group that is marginalized and marginalized and marginalized.once someone doesn't have access to clean water, they have no choice but to riot.

OK, the MAGA-ites do have access to clean water, but to justice?  Every single Constitutional institution has not merely failed them, but gleefully and vindictively kicked them as they take them down.  At this point, who would, could, or should they - or we - trust to ensure that justice, whatever that might be, is seen to be done?

We know we're being lied to on all sides.  For a long time, polls have shown that most Americans know this too.  Does it matter anymore?  With what tyrants of both parties have gotten away with for a year, is there anything left they cannot do, to you, to your family, your church, your business, your friends?

Your humble correspondent has been repeatedly asked, "But what will you do about it?"  We've discussed that in these pages multiple times, and still, we have no good answer - we know not what to do, other than writing what seem even to us to be increasingly plaintive and facile bleats.  Knowing who to disbelieve is helpful, but to take action, you must believe in a direction - and for that action to accomplish anything good, it must in fact be the right direction.

Truth exists - of that we have no doubt.  Either Donald J. Trump was literally Hitler, or he is the victim of gross injustice and criminal malfeasance.  Either Joe Biden duly won the election and is properly our President, or he is a usurper, an imposter, and a thief.  They can't both be true, and the difference between them determines who is the criminal traitor and who is the white-hatted patriot.

Can we find it, though?  How would we know if we did?  And then what?

If we don't find an answer, and fast, it won't matter anymore.