Pete's Prep: Monday, March 5, 2018

Florida gun control activists lash out at everyone older than them

Two of the students-turned-spokesmen for gun control went on Bill Maher's show this weekend.

There were three moments that help explain the disconnect in the gun debate and how these kids are squandering any goodwill they've been given in the wake of the attack on their Florida high school.

From the Blaze:

[Cameron] Kasky went on to say that the Second Amendment “is a great defense that I’ve seen a lot. Because they put it as if you’re attacking a right that they’re born with.”

Maher chimed in: “It is, if you’re an American.”

Just pause to ponder the fact that it's Bill Maher who has to educate this kid about Constitutional rights. Rights that Kasky is lobbying to restrict. 

It's dishonest and ethically corrupt to promote the restrictions of rights without knowing what those rights are in the first place.

Kasky's co-star - David Hogg - bragged about hanging up on President Trump after being invited to attend Trump’s "listening session."

He called the timing of the invitation “very offensive considering the fact that there were funerals the next day, there was mourning we still had to do.”

The ethics on display are repugnant.

Trump's listening session was the same day as CNN's Town Hall show trial - which both boys attended.

Trump's listening session was in the afternoon, which would've allowed plenty of time to return to Florida in time to attend the funerals the following day.

The CNN event went from 9pm until 11pm.

In other words, these kids would likely have been home earlier had they attended the President's event.

Indeed, they probably could've attended both.

And, finally...

Kasky concluded by saying he accepts the apology of all of the generations before him.

“We appreciate that you are willing to let us rebuild the world that you f****d up,” he added.

These kids remind me of the notice my dad posted on the fridge when his four kids had all attained teenager status.

It read:


If you are tired of being hassled by unreasonable parents

NOW is the time to act!

Leave home

Get a job

Pay your bills

See the world

While you still know everything!

Trying to understand the mind of a school shooter

There are some familiar themes in the Washington Post piece on 14-year old murderer Jesse Osborne of Townville, SC - namely the hero worship of previous shooters, the grievance collecting, the detailed (albeit juvenile) planning, and the lack of remorse for what he did.

He had been researching other school shooters for months and, determined to outdo them, learned exactly how many people they’d murdered: 13 at Columbine High; 26 at Sandy Hook Elementary; 32 at Virginia Tech.


Through much of his childhood, Jesse had seemed no different from any other kid in the Southern community of 4,000 people. Before he attacked Townville Elementary, Jesse had gone there through fifth grade, doing well in his classes and hardly ever getting into trouble. He played catcher on a rec-league baseball team. He got invited to birthday parties.

It wasn’t until he moved to a middle school in a neighboring county that his “other side,” as one psychiatrist put it, became clear. He pulled the legs off crickets and smashed frogs against the ground and habitually watched a video of kittens being mutilated. He also posted Instagram videos about Columbine that some at the school considered a potential threat. The teen grew more volatile, insisting that he’d been bullied, a claim investigators later questioned.

It reminded me of the 2015 piece in the New Yorker Magazine called "How School Shootings Spread":

But Granovetter thought it was a mistake to focus on the decision-making processes of each rioter in isolation. In his view, a riot was not a collection of individuals, each of whom arrived independently at the decision to break windows. A riot was a social process, in which people did things in reaction to and in combination with those around them. Social processes are driven by our thresholds—which he defined as the number of people who need to be doing some activity before we agree to join them. In the elegant theoretical model Granovetter proposed, riots were started by people with a threshold of zero—instigators willing to throw a rock through a window at the slightest provocation. Then comes the person who will throw a rock if someone else goes first. He has a threshold of one. Next in is the person with the threshold of two. His qualms are overcome when he sees the instigator and the instigator’s accomplice. Next to him is someone with a threshold of three, who would never break windows and loot stores unless there were three people right in front of him who were already doing that—and so on up to the hundredth person, a righteous upstanding citizen who nonetheless could set his beliefs aside and grab a camera from the broken window of the electronics store if everyonearound him was grabbing cameras from the electronics store.

Granovetter was most taken by the situations in which people did things for social reasons that went against everything they believed as individuals. “Most did not think it ‘right’ to commit illegal acts or even particularly want to do so,” he wrote, about the findings of a study of delinquent boys. “But group interaction was such that none could admit this without loss of status; in our terms, their threshold for stealing cars is low because daring masculine acts bring status, and reluctance to join, once others have, carries the high cost of being labeled a sissy.” You can’t just look at an individual’s norms and motives. You need to look at the group.

His argument has a second implication. We misleadingly use the word “copycat” to describe contagious behavior—implying that new participants in an epidemic act in a manner identical to the source of their infection. But rioters are not homogeneous. If a riot evolves as it spreads, starting with the hotheaded rock thrower and ending with the upstanding citizen, then rioters are a profoundly heterogeneous group.

Finally, Granovetter’s model suggests that riots are sometimes more than spontaneous outbursts. If they evolve, it means they have depth and length and a history. Granovetter thought that the threshold hypothesis could be used to describe everything from elections to strikes, and even matters as prosaic as how people decide it’s time to leave a party. He was writing in 1978, long before teen-age boys made a habit of wandering through their high schools with assault rifles. But what if the way to explain the school-shooting epidemic is to go back and use the Granovetterian model—to think of it as a slow-motion, ever-evolving riot, in which each new participant’s action makes sense in reaction to and in combination with those who came before?

Confusing Communism

It's several months old, but it's the first time I've seen The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation report on Americans' views on the bankrupt and evil philosophy.

Among the findings:

  • 7 in 10 Americans either don’t know the definition of communism or misidentify it
  • 7 out of 10 underestimate number killed by communism

Millennials opt for socialism over capitalism

Given the choice, most Americans would opt for a capitalist country. However, one third would prefer to live in a socialist nation. Millennials are the leading force behind this preference with more than four in ten opting for socialism.

Half of Millennials, compared to 7 in 10 of all Americans, correctly define capitalism

This is ONE way to boost diversity...


According to claims made in a lawsuit filed by a former recruiter for Google’s YouTube video site, the company instructed staff to stop hiring white and Asian men last year in an attempt to improve corporate diversity. The Wall Street Journal reports that the freeze on hiring whites and Asians was confirmed by others

Among the allegations in the lawsuit -- recruiters were instructed to purge applications and resumes of everyone who was not Female, Black, or Hispanic.

A Google spokeswoman said the company will vigorously defend itself in the lawsuit. “We have a clear policy to hire candidates based on their merit, not their identity,” she said in a statement. “At the same time, we unapologetically try to find a diverse pool of qualified candidates for open roles, as this helps us hire the best people, improve our culture, and build better products.”

Some bigots are cool, apparently

Hanging around bigots is okay for certain Congressmen. From The Daily Caller:

Democratic Illinois Rep. Danny Davis confirmed in an interview Sunday that he has a personal relationship with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, a notorious anti-Semite, and said he isn’t bothered by Farrakhan’s position on “the Jewish question.”

Farrakhan has repeatedly denounced Jews as “satanic,” praised Hitler as a “very great man” and has said that white people “deserve to die.”

Davis previously told The Daily Caller that he considers Farrakhan an “outstanding human being” and said he regularly meets with Farrakhan. Davis’s office falsely told the Anti-Defamation League that the congressman had been misquoted.

Just trying to imagine how this story would be covered (as in - covered at all) by legacy media outlets if the bigot was David Duke and the Congressman was a Republican.

I'm kidding. I know exactly how it would be covered.

Maybe Federalism ain't just for right-wingers any more!


Teacher pay in NC tops $51,000

Pete Kaliner

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