Archive for the ‘Corruption’ Category

I decided to title this with the term “narrative” in there because it’s a term that Sargon of Akkad has been finding so infuriatingly despicable, and because it fits so well.  (I wrote this all two weeks ago and was delayed by life in posting, so undoubtedly there are new revelations – also when I say “a few days” that also means a couple weeks.)

HotAir linked to an Ezra Klein story a few days ago titled “Gamergate and the politicization of absolutely everything” that is a wonderfully spun narrative.  It is quite the story, and a story that, like most other mainstream reporting on Gamergate, leaves out very relevant facts and instead hangs around on others.

1. If you want to understand why Gamergate has blown up, you could start with …  (ST: edited for space – 7 points about politics that are totally irrelevant to Gamergate)

8. This is the result of the incredible rise in political polarization in recent decades. It used to be that both the Republican and Democratic parties included both liberals and conservatives. Since parties contained ideological multitudes, it was hard for them to be the basis of strong, personal identities. A liberal Democrat in New Jersey didn’t have a lot in common with a conservative Democrat in Alabama. But now that’s changed. The parties are sharply sorted by ideology. What were once fractious coalitions have become unified tribes.

No.  Not at all.  Klein is telling the story he wants you to hear.

Gamergate political spreadThat graphic was pulled from a Gamergate site (reposted on KYM) where some datacrunching gamers went through a pile of prominent Gamergaters’ publicly posted answers to the political compass quiz, then put them all on the same grid to show the distribution.  Having tried the quiz myself, I found there were many questions that would require an answer of “situation dictates” that moderated my answers into a much more shallow right-libertarian than I’ve seen on other quizzes where it’s much easier to commit to an answer.  It’s still representative, and it gives us data for a conclusion.

Gamergate is much more left than right.

And that’s where Ezra Klein’s chosen politicized narrative falls apart from the start.

10. This isn’t a world in which we should be surprised that video games have been politicized. This is a world in which it was only a matter of time until video games were politicized. This is a world in which, sooner or later, most everything will get politicized.

I’m reminded of a quote oft-used by pro-Gamergaters when countering the anti-GG: “That which can be proven without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.”  But just to help destroy the narrative, I provided evidence.

To someone who’s clueless about Gamergate, Ezra Klein already has a convenient yarn for his narrative about how not all Gamergaters are hardcore right-wingers, and not all hardcore right-wingers are Gamergaters:

11. Though there are liberals within Gamergate and conservatives opposing it, the broad coalitions that have emerged around Gamergate are very clear.

Funny thing is that first link goes to a random hard-left zealot on reddit who announces himself as this without a hint of irony: “devout lib/rad/prog and i’ve always taken the position that “reality has a liberal bias”… that the liberal world view is simply rational and true“.  lulz & trololol, buddy.  Based on the videos, interviews, discussions, forum and group postings I’ve seen, he’s not representative of the left in Gamergate.

The second link goes to lefty Slate to talk to Tea Partiers who don’t want to be identified with Gamergate… “We are offended by any attacks on women, be it in videos, be it in rap lyrics,” he (Niger Ennis) added. “Last time I checked there are not a bunch of rappers that are Tea Partiers, yet they use the same kind of misogynistic themes that go on in these video games.”  I’d bet Niger Ennis hasn’t spent much time on 8chan, and that the dicussion was more of Slate telling him “there are misogynist assholes who are like you,” which prompts him to respond no I’m not a misogynist and they’re not like me.

But it all fits with the narrative.

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Now, I’ve already gone a ways into this, but there’s no mention in Ezra Klein’s article about GameJournoPros.  GameJournoPros was a secret mailing list of bloggers, writers, and games journalists that functioned to set a narrative and push an agenda.  A month after it was revealed, and after a month of “gamers are dead” articles, one member of GameJournoPros started trying to explain everything away according to the “Gamergate is all misogynist ragenerds” narrative… which was a rather dubious claim dissected by folks who know more about the bigger players than I do.

There’s a reason why Ezra Klein would leave out GameJournoPros’ existence.  He was the creator of JournoList.

For those who missed it, JournoList was a secret mailing list of bloggers, writers, and journalists that funcitoned to set a narrative and push an agenda.  Their agenda was a little more mainstream, with the objective to protect Barack Obama from difficult questions by suppressing the difficult topics that would lead to those questions.

Ezra Klein is in ideological agreement with the narrative-telling propagandists and charlatans masquerading as journalists against Gamergate – because he’s done the exact same thing.

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Now, back to Klein weaving a fictional narrative:

The conservative site Breitbart has been a leading source for Gamergaters convinced there’s a media conspiracy against them.

Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action.

This is coordinated enemy action:

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And keep in mind that with Ezra Klein, you’re dealing with a man who orchestrated a group of like-minded people to work behind the scenes to accomplish an objective surreptitiously… who’s now dismissing the exact same thing as a paranoid conspiracy theory.  I guess it must’ve worked for him to dismiss JournoList, so now he’s doing it with GameJournoPros and the corruption in games media.

Finishing his point, he adds this selective-reality point for his “it’s all silly politics” handwaving narrative:

Christina Hoff Sommers, a scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, has become the movement’s protector against claims that it’s anti-woman.

That’s a small fraction of the truth.  Based Mom is one woman who heard about Gamergate and took the time to look into it.  She works at AEI, but is a feminist first.  But there are a whole lot of other women who were already aware of Gamergate and came down for Gamergate.  There are also a lot of minorities, and a lot of people with their own views on gender and sexuality that makes them not the traditional straight white male demographic.

These Gamergate supporters are legion, and post under the twitter hashtag #notyourshield.

12. On the other side, liberal opinion is in lockstep against Gamergate. Outlets ranging from Salon (“#Gamergate is really about terrorism: Why Bill Maher should be vilifying the gaming community, too“) to Gawker (“#Gamergate Trolls Aren’t Ethics Crusaders; They’re a Hate Group“) to the Colbert Report have slammed the movement. The last, in particular, has created something of a cultural crisis within Gamergate, as the kinds of mostly young, mostly male, reasonably webby people who like Gamergate also like Colbert, and his rejection of them stings.

Here’s where you’re wrong again, Klein.  Liberal media opinion is in lockstep against Gamergate.  As shown above, folks who identify with the left are the ones who primarily support Gamergate – they just happen to be anti-authoritarian left.

As somebody who’s on the right side of the spectrum, I find Colbert’s (and Stewart’s) mocking schtick much more divisive and destructive, since it’s pretty much only pointed one way.  They have their agenda and they push it.  If they’re faced with someone who seriously could shut down their argument or offer a counterpoint that defuses them, they put the clown nose on for defense and make fun of it claiming to be comedians.

And from that right side of the spectrum, there’s also a very brief pang of schadenfreude as some folks find out their heroes in media really don’t care about them – that Colbert really isn’t their friend – and that the media will lie about them, too.

Welcome to the party, pal!

Welcome to the party, pal!

The David Mamet-style liberals in Gamergate who are having that illusion shattered are getting some perspective.  I’ve got some empathy for them, as we’ve all had folks we look up to in the media and in culture and entertainment not live up to the image at some point.  For some of them it’s a whole worldview change.  Those on the right who’ve found the media stands against them and uses the same deceptive tactics on almost every issue don’t really find it surprising, though.

At least Gamergater’s know The Hero of Canton is on their side.  (Irony abounds in the actor who played a fake hero being a real supporter and giving voice to gamers.)

13. What’s telling about the constellation of forces here is that none of them actually care much about video games. Prior to Gamergate, Sommers did not traffic in critical analyses of video gaming. Prior to Gamergate, Salon did not spend a lot of time writing about video games. Prior to Gamergate, the Colbert Report did not regularly cover gaming news. Rather, these are outlets and players that specialize in political conflict. And Gamergate has become a political conflict. Video games, at this point, are an excuse for that conflict.

Klein’s wrong again.  He’s trying to shift Gamergate into a realm of politics and into a paradigm it doesn’t quite belong in.  Sommers is reapplying her critical analysis to video games.  Salon, Colbert, and Klein are covering it because of politics and because of their political position when it comes to culture, which I’ll tie together in a few more points.

14. It’s worth stopping for a moment to say that Gamergate, as well as the reaction against it, isn’t any one thing. It includes horrifying, probably criminal, harassment against pretty much any women who dare oppose it.

Narrative-weaving.  Some of the women involved in the anti-Gamergate side are pretty well known to profit from saying they’re threatened – claim harassment, set up a donation page, financial gain – but that stuff is worth of it’s own post.  There’s also never any mention of the Gamergate supporters who have been targeted for harassment – including getting syringes mailed to them.

To be fair, his point #15 isn’t all wrong, but it’s still told as part of his political narrative, and to turn this into “everyone’s misunderstood and it’s all miscommunication”, when that is not the case.

16. Within Gamergate, there’s a deep sense of conspiracy — the belief is that the reaction to their campaign has been so unfair and so overwhelming that the only possible explanation is a wide-ranging conspiracy. Much of the subreddit Kotaku In Action is dedicated to try to untangle this sinister web. This has led to some…odd theories. …

And this is where 15 leads – Gamergaters are confused and believe in conspiracies of people out to get them who really aren’t there.  What a wonderfully crafted narrative.  It starts off by saying how groups are fighting over nothing, politics have been infused into it (rather than Gamergate relating to politics) and people are fighting just to fight because they’re different people (his irrelevant 1-8 points), and that really, Gamergaters are just poor, confused people who can’t understand that they’re wrong and so they get paranoid about nothing because no one’s out to get them.

If it weren’t for the glaring omission of SJW-oriented GameJournoPros and the fact that it was written by the same guy who organized the leftist political equivalent in JournoList, one might almost think he believes it.  And then you remember the “who” is involved is critical to the “what” they’re doing.

17. All this, too, is common within political conflict in polarized times: the two sides segregate into completely separate information loops. Politicized media outlets and activist information sources have incentives to cover the worst of the other side, and to play to the fear, anger and even paranoia of their own side. Structurally, each side only becomes familiar with the most extreme members and interpretations of the other side — and so comes to loathe and fear them even more.

This would be the corrupting, enticing idea that “can’t we all just get along?”  In this case, the answer happens to be “no”.  Gamergate is a wildly diverse group that due to its nature includes folks well across the conventional political spectrum.  Many of them are folks I’d doubtless disagree with on other issues (though we’d have some common ground now for a lot of discussions).  Gamergate is not the problem.

The media, both games journalism and broader journalism, has taken a side – the side of their chosen culture – which I’ll tie together soon.

18. The point here is not that both sides are equal, or equivalent. It’s not even obvious that there are two sides here, so much as there are two coalitions, each with multiple sides and competing interests. And no one should dismiss the very real, very dangerous harassment that’s happening under Gamergate’s banner.

One side is a loose coalition of individuals.  The “very real, very dangerous harassment” is a tiny minority – even the discussion about those who are claiming harassment is a tiny minority.

The point here is that the Gamergate fight is now being partly driven by forces that have nothing to do with the video gaming industry, or even with gamers. Forces that are very good at making these kinds of conflicts worse and deeper.

Yes, the point is the mainstream media has taken the position their dominant left culture demands: anti-Gamergate.

The few folks on the right who’ve picked it up see it for what it is, and for what the David Mamet-style liberal gamers are learning that it is.  It’s a manifestation of hard left culture.  It’s part of the long march through society by cultural Marxists.

21. Broad media coverage of Gamergate doesn’t focus on the debates about how video games should be reviewed and by whom because the media doesn’t much care about video game reviews. They care, on the right, about political correctness and speech policing, and on the left, about sexism and online harassment. Gamergate happens to be about video games but it could be about anything. Video games are the excuse for this fight, not the cause of it.

And here’s the narrative again.  The right cares about political correctness and censorship because it’s anathema to free people.  American conservative means conserving founding American virtues – and that means free speech.  The right cares about it because it’s the same kind of censorship used by the leftist media elsewhere, with the same tricks.

The left cares about sexism and claimed harassment as a vehicle to enforce political correctness and dictating culture.  They are the ones pushing for the forcible changes in video games.  Video games are a massive media enterprise, with people spending hours and hours in immersive environments and every little push by cultural Marxists is another step they can take to push their own agendas, make themselves relevant, and make themselves financially well-off.

Corruption within game reviews isn’t the same as commentary and criticism of video game culture.  You don’t write 20 plus articles that say “gamers are dead” if this is only a discussion about how to make sure there’s no nepotism in games media.  That’s the leftist culture-war component that’s advancing into the game industry.  Their vehicle is through games journalism.

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Gamergate is a matter of the hard left SJW crowd pushing into a media format that causes people who don’t normally pay attention to politics suddenly have to pay attention.

22. Some of the tactics that Gamergaters have innovated are going to be turned around with even more force. I agree with Vox’s Todd VanDerWerff, who thinks it’s a chilling innovation to focus activism campaigns on the technology companies that run the ad platforms rather than the advertisers themselves. But Gamergate isn’t going to convince Amazon or Google to yank web services from anyone. Gamergate doesn’t have the cultural capital to do that; being against Gamergate isn’t socially dangerous in San Francisco or Seattle.

And there it is.

Buried in part 22, unknowingly, Ezra Klein, propagator of JournoList, has shown what no small part of the issue really is, deep down.  The political culture in those regions, and within specific industries in those regions, have become the stomping ground of the hard left.  To them, it’s no big deal – they don’t know anyone who voted for Reagan.  To them, sleeping with the subject of your writing is acceptable amirite?  To them, this is just the natural progression of their own cultural movement.

To them, the ends justify the means – and the ends are to keep marching their hard leftism into society, whether we like it or not.  The hard left SJWs get involved in games journalism not because they enjoy games – some even specifically say they don’t – but they go into them to have an outlet to spread their politics.

Those of us on the right see the culture war part a lot more, but now those on the left who just wanted to play video games are wondering how they’ve become monsters in the media – and it’s because they’ve found out that they were the next group to be put up against the wall.

Sargon of Akkad, who I referenced much earlier, has been looking into a lot of these ties to the San Francisco bay area progressive movements and their move into the gaming world.

It’s quite enlightening.

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May as well finish up Klein’s piece.

23. But being against, say, marriage equality really can be dangerous right now. Remember when the CEO of Mozilla was driven from his job because he donated, as a private citizen, to a campaign against gay marriage? It’s easy to imagine a reverse Gamergate that’s much more effective in tearing revenue from rightwing media outlets that place themselves on the wrong side of a social justice fight. In the long-run, that would be a disaster for the media as a whole. My hope — and my guess — is that advertisers and web services will quickly acclimate to this new climate and these new organizing tactics, just as they have in the past. But ugly stuff can happen in transition.

No, there won’t be a reverse Gamergate, for the same reason there won’t be a reverse Tea Party.  The movements are both organically occurring.  They’re loosely structured, and they’re based on personal interaction.  They’re also symptomatic of culture – in a good way.

Gamergate is anti-authoritarian but mostly left.  The Tea Party is anti-authoritarian but mostly right.  Both demand things from the people who claim to represent them but aren’t.  They have specific grievances, varied grievances, and shared grievances.  Gamergate is mad because the gaming journalists who claim to represent them and are paid to represent them are horribly corrupt, incestuous, and so manaical in their agenda that they seek to destroy all gamers because their hard-left worldview paints them as the new enemies of social justice.  The Tea Party is mad because the government who claims to represent them and is paid to represent them is so horribly corrupt, self-serving, and manaical in its agenda to destroy people who oppose even greater government that will engage in even more corruption.

There are differences on social issues, but those are a result of the people involved and their respective beliefs as to what works best in society.  But their main foci are opposition to corrupt authority, to authority that claims to represent them while disrespecting and resenting them, and to demanding better from those who claim to represent them.

Klein is wishing there would be a hard left-wing Gamergate, an uprising of the SJW crowd to tear down “right wing media outlets on the wrong side of a social justice fight”.  He doesn’t think it would be bad.  He’s saying “wouldn’t that be terrible” in the way a mob racketeer tells someone they should buy fire insurance “cuz wouldn’t that be terrible if your place burned down”.

His own writing belies where he stands: “the wrong side of a social justice fight”.  The “wrong side” is already anywhere against the hard left media.  Those on the right are not strangers to this.  We’re already fighting against people who buy ink by the barrel.

Gamergate has picked up and learned this in the span of a couple months.  They’re fighting the whole of the media on this.

24. Gamergate is going to happen again. As polarization proceeds, our political identities become powerful enough to drive our other identities. As Washington locks up, the political outlets that normally spend their time covering fights in Congress need to find fights that will engage their audience elsewhere. As cultural mores change ever more rapidly, the battles over what’s acceptable to say and do will become even fiercer.

No, the political outlets won’t.  It took them months before they noticed Gamergate.

Cultural mores are only changing rapidly because they’re being forced to change by the SJW crowd.  The battles over what’s acceptable to say and do are coming from the hard left belligerents dictating that everyone must comply to their crybaby demands, and that they must have government force to crush those who oppose their new rules.

25. The result will be a cycle we’ll soon come to recognize: glancingly political fights will attract coverage from professionally politicized outlets and quickly be turned into deeply politicized wars. Once political identities are activated, these fights will spread far beyond their natural constituencies — in the Gamergate case, people who care about video games — and become part of the ongoing conflict between the red and blue tribes. Expect more Gamergates.

No, this isn’t something that became politicized afterwards.  This was a fight that was started by the hard left SJW crowd that moved into a medium that’s normally pretty neutral, a medium that due to its very nature is a color-gender-race-blind meritocracy based solely on how or how well the gamer plays the game.

This “political identity” stuff doesn’t hold with Gamergate – it’s an anti-authoritarian left-leaning movement rebelling against authoritarian hard left dictating to it.

The right’s involved because the right has seen it before.  Libertarians have seen it before.  Conservatives have seen it before.  Video gamers saw it before in the form of the authoritarian moralist Jack Thompson (I missed most of his censorship shenanigans of the early 2000s because I was busy fighting for freedom elsewhere).

The hard left has never seen it because the forces they’re fighting aren’t people who demand boots on people’s necks.  They have been the powerful authoritarians in academia and media for decades now, demanding censorship and demanding people who don’t conform to their worldview be shut down.  The hard left can’t understand they’re in a fight against people who just want to be free.

The whole piece is narrative-writing at its finest.  It’s a whole tale woven to express just enough sympathy for the misguided, think-they’re-oppressed-but-they-aren’t people in Gamergate who are now just reactionary tools of the right wing – just enough as to make them look pathetic, ignorant, and with just enough application of the truth that the glaring omissions that tell the whole story aren’t quite noticed, and that the origins of this are ignored.

The hard left are SJWs and vice versa.  They pushed for this, they stomped on people who put up with their politically correct crap because it wasn’t a huge bother.  Gamers didn’t mind for a long time, enough of them leaned left, they figured that was good enough.  They didn’t expect to be painted as counterrevolutionary reactionary misogynerd shitlord pissbabies who are worse than ISIS and need to gassed and beaten to death.  That’s what the left pushed for.

That’s who started this fight.

There have been about a dozen stories I’ve been meaning to write about before the election, but alas, life gets in the way.

So here’s just a roundup of the voter fraud stories that lead us up to the 2014 midterms.

From Daily Caller, La Raza is disseminating info on places to vote with ID, so illegals can vote.  And make no mistake about it – illegal aliens are voting in US elections.

Meanwhile, in Illinois, if you’re voting for the R… you’re gonna vote for the D anyway.  “Calibration error” is even more hokey than “pregnant chad”.

And in Colorado, you can vote for your friends, or your neighbors, or whoever’s ballot you can acquire.  Ballot harvesting, they call it.

While it’s legal to give your ballot to someone else — one person may turn in up to 10 ballots — election watchers worry that the practice is ripe for abuse.

“These are totally unauthorized people coming to the door and gathering ballots and doing whatever they want to them,” said Marilyn Marks, president of the Aspen-based Citizen Center, which focuses on election integrity.

“If I have collected your ballot, I could do the honest thing and put it in the mail for you, or take it to the clerk’s office and drop it off — or I could look inside, open it gently, see how you voted, and if I didn’t like it, I could make some changes,” said Ms. Marks. “Or the other thing I could do, if I don’t like the way you’re voting, I could throw your ballot in the trash can.”

In a Denver Post op-ed, Ms. Marks urged voters not to turn over their ballots to strangers. Secretary of State Scott Gessler has asked voters to give their ballots only to people they know, and to verify afterward that their ballot was received on GoVoteColorado.com.

Still, Mr. Gessler, a Republican, has made it clear that he’s not thrilled with the new voting law, the Voter Access and Modernized Elections Act, which passed the Democrat-controlled legislature in 2013 with no Republican votes.

A law that makes voter fraud easier that was passed with only Democrat support?  Naw… couldn’t be.  They’ve told us there’s no impropriety there.

Ballot harvesting is actually a pretty common tactic for the left.

A Republican party official in the largest county in Arizona says surveillance tape shows a progressive Hispanic activist blatantly and openly engaging in vote fraud.

Between 12:54 and 1:04, LaFaro said, he observed a man wearing a “Citizens for a Better Arizona” T-shirt loudly drop a box containing hundreds of early-voting ballots on a table.

Citizens for a Better Arizona is a progressive group.

The man then began “stuffing the ballot box,” LaFaro said. “I watched in amazement.”

There’s more to the story at the link, but there’s also video.

But he’s not engaging in voter fraud… he’s probably just helping the 164-year-olds who can’t walk to the voting booth.

Of course, it’s not really a big deal anyway – according to the poll workers, as videod by James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas:

And meanwhile, in North Carolina, the same contempt for the integrity of the voting system is shown.

North Carolina election officials repeatedly offered ballots last week to an impostor who arrived at polling places with the names and addresses of ‘inactive’ voters who hadn’t participated in elections for many years.

No fraudulent votes were actually cast: It was the latest undercover video sting from conservative activist James O’Keefe, whose filmmaking résumé reads like a target list of liberal causes.  …

Now O’Keefe has strolled into more than 20 voting precincts in Raleigh, Durham and Greensboro, N.C., proffering the names of people who seldom vote in order to test the integrity of the election process. It seems to have failed on a massive scale.

‘I just sign this and then I can vote?’ he asked one poll worker. ‘Yep,’ came the reply.

Don’t worry, though… Democrats have assured us there is no voter fraud.

Baghdad Bob

gamergate in 5 minutes

For reference, this is what those “gamers are dead” articles looked like – all from the same day:

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There’s also a pretty good recap at Breitbart here.

How or why would there be 14 articles published decrying gamers as horrible, wretched, misogynistic, angry misanthropes?  Well, that’s explained by the newest revelation.

Remember JournoList?  That secret leftist group of reporters who decided how to set a narrative across the media in order to favor Barack Obama and leftist causes by collaborating behind the scenes?

Well in the video game world, there’s GameJournoPros – another mailing list that seems to be mostly left-leaning “journalists” – just this time the social justice warrior variety who exist in video game journalism to bludgeon you with their club of moral superiority.

Despite the #NotYourShield folks of all stripes, colors, creeds, orientations and varieties saying “hey, video gamers aren’t just straight white males, so stop demonizing all gamers in my name as a _____”, the game “journalist” SJWs continue their assault, violently rejecting any calls for transparency, objectivity, and an end to the incestuous corruption of developers and journalists colluding with each other.

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Broadly speaking, gamers don’t want to hear some social commentary on how “E3 is full of white male protagonists again and you’re racist because of it”, nor do they want to hear about how Princess Peach’s very existence is sexist or how Birdo is insensitive to cross-gendered reptiles.

Casual gamers find it obnoxious, preachy, and irritating, and more serious gamers find it… obnoxious, preachy, and irritating.  And now that game “journalists” behavior is being shown to be a collaborative effort for personal gain (as well as financial gain), it’s pretty gone quite a bit beyond that.

In the gaming world, if a game offends you, you don’t buy it.  It’s that simple.  The market will correct itself.  If you like good games and don’t really care that Cloud Strife’s haircut is offensive to the folically challenged, then you certainly don’t need someone going out of their way to scream about it and networking with their fellow game “journalists” to get the game shut down.

You certainly don’t need some games “journalist” using their connections and networks and going out of their way to make sure a game doesn’t get produced, doesn’t get distributed and doesn’t get sold because they find it offensive, or because they want to spike a game in favor of their developer friend’s game – and they’ll use their social justice/political correct angle to get that other game spiked.

Discussing the topic and demanding a reform of games journalism has resulted in predictable responses – including those 14 stories above.

But it’s a matter of course – they’re social justice activists who use the “you’re a racist/sexist/homophobe” as a way to demand that you shut up.

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As I’ve noted before, the whole GamerGate issue is a microcosm of society where the leftist social justice warrior types have taken it as their personal mission to force everyone to knuckle under to their demands.  It’s pretty similar to what we see in politics and broader culture every time some leftist social justice activist claims some mantle of the oppressed and demands special treatment for it – while simultaneously never doing anything for the oppressed party (because then they’d lose that specialness to make demands).  We’re currently seeing the same thing happen to the NFL, where a handful of dirtbag players (and possibly team organizations that covered for them) have prompted activist groups to target the entire NFL, going so far as to make demands that have in at least one case specifically hurt (financially) the people they claim to want to help.  It’s all part of a broader cultural push, but that’s for another post.

An Intro To GamerGate

Posted: September 6, 2014 by ShortTimer in Corruption, Culture, Media, political correctness, Social Justice
Tags:

The short version is that a few weeks ago, a man who was cheated on posted a long, long blog post about how his ex-girlfriend had used him, cheated on him, and all around mistreated him horribly (including raping him by her own definition).

Turns out that woman was a game developer.  And of the five guys she’d cheated on her boyfriend with, it seems a few, if not all of them, were pretty big in the video game journalism world at places like Kotaku (associated with Gawker), and that she used her relationships with them in order to get her games published and get other people crushed.

Add a little bit of social justice to it and the power of journalism directed to demonize anyone who disagreed with her as a sexist misogynist; as well as the ability to crush game events and redirect them to her own financial ends – and that being found to be a common practice in the incestuous world of social justice game journalism and indie game development, and you have the makings of a huge scandal.

InternetAristocrat explains it really well.  Buckle in, it’s a long ride, but it’s a microcosm of the larger culture.  The first video will give you an idea of the genesis of this, the later ones reveal more and more, but are probably the best way to get caught up on the story.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

And the story was recently picked up on by HotAir after Adam “Animal Mother” Baldwin tweeted about it.

I recommend reading this story for some background first.

From what I’ve read, neither side is doing much right in the Bundy case; and actually seperate, broader state vs federal land control issue is getting muddied because people are missing so much of the broader implications.

As I’ve read it, the rancher, Cliven Bundy, stopped paying grazing fees in 1993.  He tried paying some to the state and county, but the BLM owns and controls the land.  The bills he did pay to the state and county weren’t consistent with what the BLM charged for land usage fees.  Bundy’s lost a lot of court fights, and for whatever reason the BLM changed the grazing rules.  Regardless of why, if that’s part of the contract to graze, and he agreed to it, when they said “lose 90% of your herd or leave”, he simply decided to stay, and fought in court for decades, losing again and again.  He claims that since his family is there, he can graze where he wants, he claims that his improvements to the land mean its his, and he claims that the state should own the land and not the federal government, so BLM be damned.

There are a lot of folks taking his side because they’re blindly sick of fedgov overreach.  But I think a lot of it comes down to pictures of cows and cowboys, and some romanticized western visuals… and some folks hearing what they want to hear.

Why?

Let’s say Reverend Al Sharpton and Reverend Jeremiah “God Damn America” Wright were in a church in Chicago that was owned by the federal government as a national historical site, and run by the National Park Service since 1848 when it was acquired by the federal government (like how the territory that long predated the state Nevada was acquired by the US government in 1848 due to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo).  Reverends Sharpton and Wright’s congregations rent out the church on a use-basis starting in 1884, and so they’ve been there 130 years.  Sometime around 1993, Sharpton and Wright decide that the National Park Service is racist against them for raising usage rates, and they refuse to pay any more usage fees.  They continue making a profit on the church’s operation, despite the church not being their property.  They install “improvements” that change the historical nature of the church, but it helps their bottom lines.

They tell a story of how other churches have been shut down by the NPS, and they fight in court, all the while occupying the church.  They lose court case after court case, and finally in 2014, more than twenty years after they’ve stopped paying the usage fees to the National Park Service, they start saying the church is really community property and really bleongs to the city of Chicago.  They say they’ve tried to pay Chicago (which doesn’t take their money, citing the church as NPS-controlled federal property), and then finally the NPS sends people to remove the Sharpton and Wright staff and equipment from the church.

Sharpton and Wright summon like-minded armed community activists to their side, Black Panthers come from across the country, and an armed standoff takes place between the Sharpton-Wright group and the NPS.

Okay, now which side seems reasonable?  Sharpton and Wright, who are using public property for their own ends to make a profit and actively courting armed resistance after losing in the courts and making claims with no legal basis of ownership, or the NPS who are enforcing an order after two decades of leniency?

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That’s why I’m not on Bundy’s side.  He’s using public property that was never his, that was never even Nevada’s, that was never the property of any entity inside the US but the federal government.

He’s made a fanciful story and absurd claims of non-ownership draped in Gadsden flags and wrapped in patriotic rhetoric but it all boils down to wanting to run an industrial operation in stripping public land of vegetation (grazing) with photogenic biological machinery (cows) for the purpose of his own agricultural business.  As well, the “improvements” he’s made to the land, like water troughs and such, are simply improvements for his own business bottom line.  Watering cattle is good for him, but the second and third order effects of watering coyotes and any number of predators and invasive species that would otherwise not thrive so well in the desert distorts and changes the ecology.  As the federal government owns the land, and the BLM manages it, if they don’t want somebody building structures to water cows (and coyotes), that’s up to them – not to the non-paying renter.

Now, as for the BLM, I’m not on their side either.  Their actions that were reported at the end include shooting cattle, driving over the ostensibly endangered desert tortoise burrows, and basically being hamfisted and inept at best.  So the BLM sucked in this case, too.

What may suck even more is that supposedly one of Harry Reid’s kin is in charge of the BLM in Nevada and is out to push for an expansion of the desert tortoise habitat towards the leases Bundy had been squatting (but nobody really cared that much) on in order to allow for a Chinese-based solar energy farm in the desert.  Basically they rezoned the desert tortoise area and then the solar farm could be built.  That makes it a much more conventional land grab.

Now, as for western land control, there’s another problem.

State lawmakers are now gunning for control of federal land.

It’s time for Western states to take control of federal lands within their borders, lawmakers and county commissioners from Western states said at Utah’s Capitol on Friday.

More than 50 political leaders from nine states convened for the first time to talk about their joint goal: wresting control of oil-, timber -and mineral-rich lands away from the feds.

“It’s simply time,” said Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, who organized the Legislative Summit on the Transfer for Public Lands along with Montana state Sen. Jennifer Fielder. “The urgency is now.”

I don’t trust a leftist demanding a gun ban when they say “it’s simply time” and I don’t trust anyone else saying the same thing, no matter what letter is next to their name.

“Those of us who live in the rural areas know how to take care of lands,” Fielder said, who lives in the northwestern Montana town of Thompson Falls.

“We have to start managing these lands. It’s the right thing to do for our people, for our environment, for our economy and for our freedoms,” Fielder said.

Translation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YBInZrRx5c

The state legislators want to take the land for their own purposes.

They want to give it to their own cronies.  They want to divide federal lands that might not be being actively used and sell them up to developers, to industrial groups, to investors, to any number of people who aren’t you.

All that federal land sitting there waiting to be snatched could easily be handed off to any number of groups that will make those lawmakers massively wealthy.  Of course, they’ll cut themselves a massive ranch out of that land for themselves, of course.

Federal land right now is difficult to utilize for big operations.  It’s difficult for businesses to use, it’s difficult for politicians to sell off to their cronies at the federal level.  With obnoxious regulations, it’s often more difficult than it needs to be, but the fact that it’s federal land also protects it from instant abuse, sale, and destruction.

If you want to see a land grab and a radical change in the American west, give land to the states.  Millions of acres will go not to you, the hardworking citizen who goes hunting on BLM land, hiking in national forests, and fishing in Bureau of Reclamation reservoirs, but to huge corporations that pay off state legislators, and to multibillionaire investors who pay off state legislatures.

George Soros will have his own 500,000 acre ranch.  You will not.

Jazz Shaw over at HotAir notes what will happen to state land almost by accident, and I’m not sure he realized he said it:

It seems, however, that even if we accept all of the above examples, there is still an argument to be made that public lands which are not being dutifully maintained to serve some valid purpose of the public would be better classified as state lands. There used to be a lot of state land, even where I grew up in rural New York. The state maintained control of such lands and could preserve it or sell it to residents as they saw fit.

Bold emphasis mine.

There used to be a lot of state land… and then somehow it all went away, as if by magic?  No.

Giving it to the states means there’s one less layer of protection for that land as public land, and giving it to state legislatures is just asking for it to be thrown around to their cronies.  That is the predictable and inevitable result.

Public lands in state hands will go away due to state-level corruption.

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States that were acquired by the federal government, and that didn’t enter the union as states of their own, still have huge amounts of federal land within them.  Could a more receptive fedgov lessen some restrictions?  Absolutely.  That’d be great.

Could the EPA go back to dealing with the ravens that are killing desert tortoises rather than mess around with public lands?  Yes.  Could we amend the Migratory Bird Act that protects the ravens so they can kill some and protect the tortoises?  Sure.  Could we amend the Endangered Species Act to recognize that some species are just on their way to extinction?  Sure.  Could we amend it to allow the free market to save those species?  Maybe have people adopt and own desert tortoises as pets in order to save the species?  Maybe.

Should we go and give state-level corrupt politician X access to hundreds of thousands or millions of acres of land to give to his buddies?  No.

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What’s lost in the broader context is also that public land is there for everyone.  People who live where all land is private, or where “public land” means a postage-stamp sized park don’t understand.

For example, this is some public land that I went out used as a 900 yard range one day.

sw wy blm range 1a

There are some oil and gas sites out on that expanse of land, but they’re miles apart due to size.  There’s no water on that land except what nature provides, so it’s good for desert animals, but not so much for cattle.  It’s not land meant for cattle either.  It’s the kind of land the buffalo wouldn’t have roamed so much since there’s not much water out there.

But if you want to go hiking in old grassland or go sport shooting or go hunting, or ride your horse or drive your Raptor or just go see what the old prairie was, it’s still there.

If you’re a local and you wanted to graze your cattle there, you’d have to navigate the BLM’s mission that’s to prevent the tragedy of the commons, but you probably could.

And the hiker, the sport shooter, the horse rider, the hunter, the driver and the naturalist and the oil man could all still use that land – because it’s still public land.

If you gave control of that land to state congressman X, he’d sell the whole place to his pal in ConHugeCo Inc. in a heartbeat and instead of a “don’t make ruts and screw up the prairie” sign, there’d be this:

no trespass

This is just giving access to state legislatures to pad their nests with funds pilfered through sale of public lands.

The sale of that public land would radically change the nature and culture of western states.  Instead of the droves of retiring baby boomer leftists deserting California for Colorado and turning it disgustingly leftist, there’d be swarms of occupy leftists warping the entire western US into the same because there’d be so much “free” land available.

The cultural change would be utterly devastating, as states with low populations would be overwhelmed so rapidly they would never have time to adapt, nor to even understand how fast they were being changed.

This has to factor into any discussion as well, because the very nature of the Republic would be at stake as western states that are “deep red” and provide balance in the senate are often low in population.  Heck, Nevada even manages to keep Harry Reid in line with regards to Second Amendment issues.

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Folks from states that don’t have much public land for a plethora of historical reasons may not quite understand the significance, and some folks out west who think they’ll “get theirs” don’t necessarily think of the second and third order effects of the radical change of land ownership.

The questions always have to be “why?”, “what then?”, and “what happens next?”

If the why is to allow for better usage, that involves pushback against environment laws and regs.  That helps business and private citizen interests without compromising land access for the public.  We know the what then and what happens next still keeps that land open for all of us.

When the “time is now” answer is to give it to the states… well, like Jazz said, there “used to be” a lot of state land.  We know what then and what happened next.

WaPo’s guide on the story certainly isn’t everything you need to know, but it gives some interesting info, like the size and nature of Bundy’s family and the conditions of relations between the federal authorities tasked with managing the land and some rural residents who simply resent any outsiders.  It ignores that a longtime aide of Harry Reid’s just became the national BLM director, as well as Harry Reid’s stupid assertion that Cliven Bundy’s supporters are domestic terrorists (unless the WaPo stories about pipe bombs dropped at federal offices years ago are what he’s confusing here).

Of course, being aimed in on federal agents who have given twenty years of leniency to someone whose cows are grazing on taxpayer grass without paying before finally enforcing an order doesn’t exactly sound of good judgement, either.

Parker from central Idaho aims his weapon from a bridge as protesters gather by the Bureau of Land Management's base camp near Bunkerville

Then there’s also the “put women and children up front first” angle.  It’s not domestic terrorism, but it’s a shady tactic used in order to precipitate a conflict that will look better for the Bundy family.

House Majority whip Republican Kevin McCarthy of California says amnesty is going to happen.

Illinois Democrat Rep. Luis “My Only Loyalty Is To Illegal Aliens” Gutierrez says Republicans are telling him amnesty will happen.

“When I talk to my Republican friends,” Gutierrez said, “[they tell me] all of the parts will lead to the full package.”

He made his comments on Al Jazeera America’s Inside Story on Friday. Gutierrez has called Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) his “ally” in his quest for amnesty and has praised Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) as well. He emphasized that he, like President Barack Obama, does not care if immigration reform is “in parts and pieces as long as in the end, there is a full menu.”

Last week, President Barack Obama said of the comprehensive bill that passed the Senate, “If they want to chop that thing up in five pieces, as long as all five pieces get done, I don’t care what it looks like. Then, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said that immigration reform was “absolutely not” dead.

Note Gutierrez was going to Al Jazeera to brag.  And let’s not forget that Paul “Screech” Ryan is so much a RINO that Tanzanian poachers hang out by his house.

Joe Biden’s been hanging out with illegal alien supporters on the national mall, and Pelosi’s willing to let the GOP surrender inch by inch.

Meanwhile, billionaire Mark “Here’s A Tip – I’m Rich So Screw You” Zuckerberg has decided he’s going to flaunt immigration law by hosting “hackathons” with illegal aliens while telling you that it’s a civil right for someone else to break into your house and thereby it becomes their civil right to sleep in your bed.  After all, being a citizen of one nation doesn’t mean you don’t have a civil right to the goods, services, and privileges of another nation.  He’s also funding propaganda to support the right of invaders to live in your house, and telling the agents who are tasked with your protection by enforcing immigration law “screw you”.  (Standby for our Facebook page vanishing if JBH cross-posts it there.)

Nice to know that somebody who made billions in the US market is ready to try to destroy the nation.  And of course he won’t listen to ICE agents about illegal aliens and why we’d want to screen people for admission coming into the country.  He’s a billionaire.  He’s the Ruling Class through and through.  He’s not going to get his store robbed by some gangster illegal alien from the Ukraine, or shanked by a “gardener” illegal alien who was hacking people up with machetes during the El Sal civil war.

He’s going to get cheap labor for programming while he ditches American workers.  Democrats get free votes, Republicans get cheap labor.  The American citizenry, legal immigrants, legal residents, and everyone who played by the rules and believes in the rule of law gets screwed.

>Lame Duck "Immigration Reform" - Amnesty

Nebraska health insurance costs to rise – via HotAir:

The Lincoln Journal Star added to the annals of ‘If you like your plan you can keep your plan (Midwestern edition)” yesterday with a new report on the impact of ObamaCare on health insurance premiums in Nebraska.  Thanks to the mandates in ObamaCare, most of the individual insurance plans offered in the past will no longer be available, whether consumers liked their plan or not.  The replacements will be much more expensive, with cost hikes ranging from 21% increases to as much as 143%

Remember, Ben Nelson was bought off with the Cornhusker Kickback:

In late 2009, the Senate’s 40 Republicans unanimously opposed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Senate’s version of health-care legislation. To end a Republican filibuster and pass the measure, the Democrats needed the votes of all 58 of their senators, plus those of two independents who caucused with their party. Nelson was the 60th and last senator to agree to vote for cloture.[40]

According to Nelson, he wanted to ensure that the final version of the law prohibited the use of public funds to pay for abortions.[41] His cloture vote came after the measure was amended to permit states to opt out of allowing insurance exchange plans to provide abortion coverage. Persons enrolling in plans that covered abortion costs would pay for that coverage separately from their payment for the rest of the plan.[42] The bill also provided full and permanent federal reimbursement for the expenses that Nebraska would incur in its mandated expansion of Medicaid eligibility,[40] an amount estimated by the Congressional Budget Office at $100 million.[43]

The health-care measure was controversial, and Nelson’s vote provoked a strong response. The Medicaid reimbursement scheme was derided by the measure’s opponents as the “Cornhusker Kickback”

Ultimately Nebraska didn’t even get what he sold his vote for, and now they get less as they’ll mostly be paying much more.

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Interestingly (or not interestingly, if you pay attention to google’s actions), it’s really hard to find info on the Cornhusker Kickback using google – results come back from leftist sites like Media Matters, Rachel Maddow, and FireDogLake.