Friday, February 28, 2014

Hitler, Newton, and Barnum

By Capt. Fogg

I. Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it. 

That's true for things above the level where quantum physics makes hash of such laws, but for things which are not things but lies, it has no bearing. Promoters of things for which there is no evidence whatever and promoters of lies, hoaxes, and propaganda rely on the fact that no external force will impede, delay, or arrest the appointed rounds of lies while truth often demands too much of us. Every day a new crop of gullible witlings and angry little twits is born to be deluded. Call it Barnum's Law.

I saw this once again the other day. It's been defaming anyone with any intention and a great number of people without the intention of  modifying the national policies on private ownership of firearms.

One might expect that anyone trying to equate Hitler with liberal philosophy isn't dealing with words as we generally accept them and is using definitions of terms like "liberal" that steer us away from rational dialogue and into the corral to be fleeced, and like all humans those who don't like liberals and don't want any interference with gun ownership will simply latch on to anything that seems internally cohesive in some blurry way without further question. We're all guilty of it to one degree or another, but in this case it's more likely to be questioned by the people it's directed against and, guess what, there isn't a germ of truth to it. There is no evidence that Hitler ever said it and the history of post-WWI German gun laws contradicts it. Hitler in fact made guns much more available (except to Jews) in 1938. The Weimar Republic required registration but that was only some time after the victorious allies forbade Germans to have guns at all. Someone made this up, probably during the Clinton years, and no opposing force has been able to stop it. Facts don't matter. Barnum's Law prevails.

Fact is never the test of belief. If it were, this thing wouldn't keep appearing all over the place. I've been seeing it for years and so far it seems more ridiculous every day, but as long as the need for Obama to be scandalous exceeds the supply of scandals, it might as well be a perpetual motion machine.

There's as little evidence that it will cease to orbit and burn up in the atmosphere as there is for any actual scandal to have occurred, but it doesn't matter in a nation where half of us are so greedy for scandal, desperate for outrage, and hungry for something, anything to anchor our prejudice and feed our greedy need to feel superior by knowing things we don't care enough about to research.

So sure, Hitler will always have said what he didn't say and the Obama scandal will always be quickly approaching and your God and your Guns and your freedom to ignore decency, the law, and the tenets of both Capitalism and Christianity will continue to make a stink that no fact will diminish and no test of logic impair.

(Cross-posted from Human Voices.)

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