Commissar tell you how to think

Commissar: an official of the Communist Party, especially in the former Soviet Union or present-day China, responsible for political education and organization.

George Orwell wrote an essay on "Politics and the English Language" that is a must read. Go read it.

You have to really listen and think about what is being said to you, and Orwell does a good job at least illuminating some of the ways people say one thing and mean another, or use language to deflect attention.

It is no longer just political oranizations, however, that are acting like a kind of commissar. It's what you're seeing online from the companies who control the online platforms, and also other people who parrot back what they are told. It's what you see in advertisements through words and music and how they depict scenarios. It's everywhere.

Sometimes it's easy to understand that what you're reading is just stupid.

We can see that's ridiculous, possibly even trollish. (If you read the above comment and thought it was a legitimate comparison, I worry for you.)

But there are other times when it is not as easy to figure out what you're really hearing or reading, and how to understand it. We have a lot of commissars who are eager to help you out with that problem.

Commissar Positivity Tell You How To Feel And Reframe Cognition

This pandemic is a difficult time, and mental health issues are already causing an explosion of calls to suicide hotlines. People need help coping with what is going on.

A close friend sent me a screenshot of something sent out to school kids from their teacher. I'm going to give someone the benefit of the doubt and assume they wanted to help kids not focus on negative things. But even so, as you read this, I hope alarm bells are going off in your head.

Anyone else's skin crawling a bit? Maybe around the "I have relinquished my freedom for a noble purpose"?

I read that and it was so awful that I had to partially believe this was fake. I seriously seriously seriously hope this isn't a real student exercise. I mean, I really do. I have a hard time believing this would be real. I hope this was fake. Because if it wasn't, we have serious problems.

You can help people face reality by being a bit more honest and a lot less programmy than this.

"You're not stuck in the gulag. Instead, think that you are in an exclusive club in which some people are literally dying to get into."

The governor has done a good job of reminding us to be grateful, but it is almost gotten to the point where it feels like a talking points memo, and where you are going to feel ashamed, or somehow guilted, if not only your actions aren't correct according to CDC, but your thoughts aren't correct according to current positive spin. That somehow, if you don't follow group action and group think perfectly, deaths are your fault and not the Chinese Virus' fault.

We have every right to be angry right now. We can still be grateful, and be angry. We do not have to only think positively about things that are destroying lives, destroying businesses, leading to hopelessness, leading to suicide, leading to increased domestic abuse and child abuse, leading to financial distress and families, and destroying marriages. Those things are the reality, and telling someone going through this to just think positively about it is a kind of gaslighting.

Being told by a politician how we should be grateful for other things should never be used to hint that you should deny the reality of what you are feeling and experiencing, nor should we allow those positive spins to keep us from allowing ourselves to question the ugly parts of reality.

Positive spin can spin you so fast, reality is a blur. Living in a blur makes for easily controlled people.

Commissar Make Fun Game For You By Moving Goal Post

We had a press conference yesterday in which our governor, in a tight spot, took about 30 minutes to get to the point. The comment section of the live press conference on Facebook was full of people begging him to get to the point. I understand why he so extensively laid out all of those caveats, I guess, because it's about protection when you make a hard decision.

The previous date to begin opening things up was April 20. He moved it to April 30, the federal date. At one point, he basically said that no state wants to be the first one. Instead, regions are going to work together. Sounds lovely and logical, but I didn't elect the governor of Minnesota to have any impact on me here in North Dakota.

What the governor did, like many of the other politicians around the nation have been doing, is move the goal posts.

All along, from the very beginning, we were told that the goal was to flatten the curve and slow the spread so we could build medical capacity. We did that. For several days the governor has made it clear we did that very successfully. We are only using 1 percent of our capacity, they have a tiered plan in place for lots more beds, and, like hospitals all over the nation who were told the apocalypse was on us, we have a hospital here in North Dakota that furloughed staff because they had nothing to do and were losing money.

I guess when a pandemic hits a medical system that had chinks in its armor (Italy, New York), we shouldn't all assume those chinks are ours, too. But we did. Because here we were, having achieved what we said four weeks ago was our designated goal, and suddenly the goal was changed.

That's a bait and switch.

It's the politician's favorite game.

You convince people of a goal, you get them to go along with you, you get them to comply, maybe give up some freedoms or money or, I don't know, their jobs and personal dignity. You tell them not to worry it's just for a little while and that the government will send you a check to help you out, you shush their concerns by telling them to just go sign up for government programs on websites that crash or phone lines that aren't answered to get rejected and have to reapply and at some point find out all of the money is gone. The people stagger towards the goal line so relieved it's in sight...and then you move the goal.

"Ooopsies! Yes, we slowed it, flattened it, have 99 percent hospital capacity. But we're going to just tack on another two weeks. And yeah, the gubmint money is gone but THIS IS ABOUT SAVING LIVES so everyone will have to stay restricted instead of just those who are more susceptible because I keep talking about using a precision method of dealing with the problem instead of using a hammer and one of the most precise ways to do this is to put this on all of you even though it will only seriously impact a few of you."

Thirty minutes of caveats to add ten days when what he could have easily said was what one woman on Facebook said:

Category 1 - The sick MUST stay home.
Category 2 - The elderly and immuno-deficient SHOULD stay home.
Category 3 - The fearful CAN stay home.
Category 4 - The rest of us should be working, schooling, living.

Now, each of you choose the category into which you best fit, live responsibly therein, and then mind your own bobber.

Again, go read that Orwell essay. Do it before you watch anymore press conferences.

It's amazing to me how many people applauded this bait and switch. We are foolish if we don't push back and not let politicians move goal posts without a murmur, or at least make them know we see what they did and are not amused.

Commissar Facebook Along With Karens Help You Know How To Think

Facebook (and Google, via removal of some church apps from their app store) has kindly taken it upon themselves to let you know what is not true, and also remove churches who have livestreamed content that they believe "capitalizes" on the pandemic. You can find some of those stories if you search for them, though not as easily if you use Google to do the search.

By all means, trust Facebook, which is going to use the World Health Organization as their authority even though repeated information has been reported that indicates the WHO were negligent at best in how they informed countries of what was going on in China, and, at worst, in the pocket of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

I personally received a message from a friend here in North Dakota who was concerned because a pastor friend of hers just had his church's Facebook page removed. They could no longer stream their services live.

Capitalizing on a pandemic in a church service would, I imagine, include anything that talks about end times, judgment, or in any way doesn't toe the official line coming from the government as far as voluntary compliance. I imagine if you're big enough and your absence would be noted, you'd be safe. Or, if you preach fluffy lite sermons, you're probably not going to run afoul of Commissar Facebook and das Karens.

Yet oddly, I'm seeing a fair number of religious leaders assuring us that there's no effort to target churches (despite recent DOJ hints that some governors and mayors targeted churches unfairly, and some actual judge rulings and beginning legal actions), no reason to use your tinfoil for a hat instead of for baking a ham. Lots of religious leaders encouraging "voluntary compliance."

"Voluntary compliance" is one of those doublespeak phrases where there might not technically be a law or executive order, but behind-the-scenes manuevering has made complying forced since organizations, businesses, and other leaders were convinced to create restrictions that leave no option but compliance. It happens online through the help of the Karens, the perpetual judge and shamer.

Those leaders have too much too lose; they'll keep the party line so they keep their platform and publishing deal. Thankfully, God can burn that chaff away as he sees fit.

We are being told how to think about things.

It starts out seemingly correct, even positive or uplifting. But after a while, you start to question why reality conflicts with how you are being told to perceive that reality. Christians should be natural at this; we are told again and again that this is a spiritual world and a spiritual battle, and it is the unseen things that are the most important reality. But I've seen Christians caving to fear and focusing on unreality as much as anyone.

Commissar Expert Provide Expert Expert For Expertise

I'm not against experts by any means. I want an expert pilot flying the plane, for example. I want an expert accountant doing my taxes.

In other words, I want the right expert for the right situation. And in some situations, I want a variety of experts, both those who have different takes in the same field, and experts from across many fields.

A friend said it best:

The fact that you're an expert in a field doesn't make you the best expert to listen to all the time. It's the old adage where, if what you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. All of these people saying "listen to the experts!" as if that's a glorious logical checkmate to end all debate don't seem to realize that:

A. Some experts have knowledge that has zero application to the problem at hand.

B. The problem at hand is shifting, and requires different fields of expertise involved at some point or we make a new, worse problem.

C. Not all experts in the same field agree with each other, and simply being the loudest expert or the one with the biggest platform doesn't necessarily mean you're correct.

D. All of the above.

Let's not even delve into the state of journalism where we see outlets like CNN and others basically running a press release from CCP. We trust them on their information sources or the experts they choose to provide the information for their articles, and they're in someone's pocket.

I appreciate education and experience, which is where you get expertise. If I have a computer question, I ask my brother. If I have a veterinary question, I ask my sister. I'm not against inquiring from those who know. It's helpful to have historians, scientists, statisticians, economists, and others to provide information, and to explain charts and facts to some extent. But here's the kicker: at the end, when you draw your conclusion, it needs to be you doing the drawing. Otherwise you're nothing more than a photocopy machine, churning out the drawn conclusion provided you.

Experts are there to provide you the information so you can make the decision and come to a conclusion.

Commissar Support Operation Self-Imprisonment Even Tho All Human Die

Despite what you may have been foolishly led to believe, we all die.

Maybe today. Maybe next year. Maybe in forty years. Maybe from a disease. Maybe from a household accident. Who knows. What we are seeing right now is that this current virus has about a 97-98 percent survival rate (which will get even better if we ever truly test to see who all actually had it and how widespread it was). Those are pretty good odds, considering 100 percent of us die at some point. Right now we are apparently like the Númenóreans, who screwed themselves because they wanted to be immortal. As one friend put it, "Every 'corona' death is treated as if the person would have lived forever..."

"Healthy at home" or "Stay Home, Stay Safe" is questionable. Check out the CDC experts ("listen to the experts!!!") on accidents and deaths. Or on suicides, which seem to be increasing while people are "safe" at home.

You quarantine sick people, not healthy people. But we were provided an explanation of the two-week period of possible asymptomatic infection, so we acquiesced. We are even made to feel guilty, like we want grandma to die, if we don't wear masks when we go out.

"If you don't stay home, or don't wear a mask, or don't stay 3/6/13/46 feet away from each other, or buy paint or garden seeds, the deaths are your fault! Not the virus! Not the fact that we are mortal! Your fault! You wanted grandma to die!"

Except this then snowballs into parks and outdoor areas being closed or restricted when, especially with respiratory infections, fresh air and sunlight are actually useful for healing in such infections.

Death comes for us all. If you don't consider that every day, I understand how scary this time is. I actually do wonder each day if it's my last. It's very freeing.

Commissar Thank You For Puppet Show Enjoyment Required

Listen for yourself. Think for yourself. Decide for yourself. Express for yourself. Feel based in reality. Ask God for discernment. Obey the law wittingly, not unwittingly. Know where the line is and hold it.

You're not a puppet.