Posted by: bkivey | 28 January 2014

Victim Nation

I stopped reading newspapers on a regular basis years ago when I realized there is very little ‘news’: it’s the same old stuff, only the names and places change. I also noticed that not much journalism was happening. What we are getting isn’t reporting, it’s the selling of a narrative. And the primary narrative is that everyone (except white males) is a victim. Pick a story at random from the front section of  your local paper. No matter the subject, chances are very good that the story will be written in such a way as to portray an individual or group as a victim, and another individual or group as a perpetrator. If the writer is lucky, they’ll be able to work in shots against some of the Left’s bogeymen like small government advocates, gun and/or SUV owners, religious believers, and anyone who has a dollar more than the subject of the story.

It’s a human tendency to look elsewhere but in the mirror for the source of one’s problems, even though that’s the person to blame for most people’s woes. There are any number of ways people can be truly victimized, but of the population in a modern Western-style democracy, the percentage of true victims is going to be rather small.

Self-pity is one of the more unattractive human traits, but a lot of people have figured out that if they provide scapegoats, they can amass a lot of power. All they have to do is tell people how bad off they are, and that it’s not their fault. The ‘victims’ get to feel sorry for themselves without guilt, and in some cases may be allowed to act outside of societal norms.  The perpetrators of this most corrosive form of manipulation get power and if they’re successful enough, can re-shape society to accommodate their power base.

Playing to people’s fears and disappointments as a way to gain power is corrosive because it robs people of hope and dignity. It is emotional enslavement. I’m fairly convinced that the primary reason most minorities have been unable to make significant progress is because they are told every minute of every day by their ‘leadership’ how bad they have it. This manipulation goes all the way to the top. President Obama recently told New Yorker magazine that his poll numbers were bad because some people were uncomfortable with a black President. No matter that he was elected twice to the job, his skin color was the determining factor in his popularity. Not, you know, his job performance, or his petty personality, but his paint job. Now consider what a young black person is going to think. They’ve already been told their entire lives that they can’t get ahead because they’re black, now the President is telling them the same thing. Whenever that person meets with adversity, they’re probably going to throw up their hands, and say ‘Not my fault, man. I can’t catch a break because I’m black. The President said so.’

One need not look very far to test this hypothesis. How many Asians have you seen with food stamps? I would guess: not very many. Chinese were virtual slaves in the building of the railroads, and people of Japanese ancestry were put in concentration camps within living memory. Yet you don’t see Asian activists demanding government programs to help them out.

The same is true of Indians and Caribbean blacks. They don’t see themselves as victims; they see opportunity, and they take advantage of it. I once worked for a company that employed a number of African blacks, mostly from Nigeria. They were surprised and embarrassed at the attitude of American blacks.

Not so long ago, America was the land of opportunity. Success was encouraged, and those that did well by honest means respected. Now that so many have been made to see themselves as victims, any success is suspect, and the only purpose for the well-off is to give their money to those unwilling or unable to make a life for themselves.  This attitude is a trap: it not only punishes the very human desire to improve one’s life, it keeps people from even trying. Why work hard for yourself when others will only want to tear you down? People who buy into this negative world view really are victims, but not for the reasons they believe.

Fiat 500

I recently rented a Fiat 500, a car the automotive press views favorably. I only drove it for a day, so didn’t really get to put it through it’s paces. For car smaller than a vintage VW Bug, it’s surprisingly roomy, although with the front seats at anything less than full forward, it’s really a two-seater. It’s peppy enough, and seems to handle OK. I liked the manual shift option, but the placement of the shift lever on the console was a little weird. The driver’s seat has an armrest, so you can actually shift with your arm on the rest. The only problem was that the radio wouldn’t turn off when the car was shut off. Some vehicles don’t turn off the radio until a door is opened, but this one stayed on. I don’t know if this was glitch peculiar to this particular car, but it was slightly annoying to have to turn the radio off each time I stopped the car.

As for doing your own engine work, fuggedaboutit:

Fiat 500 engine bay

That’s a car telling you ‘Don’t even think about doing anything in here.’

Pet Peeve

I was a Boy Scout during the environmental movement of the early ’70’s, so I was taught to respect my surroundings. I’m fine with that. I always pick up my brass after shooting, and will leave campsites cleaner than when I arrived. The American propensity for just throwing trash on the ground really irks me. I’ll call people out when I see it, and have nearly come to blows on occasion. If you buy something, you can bloody well carry the packaging to a garbage can. Not like the jackass who did this:

Trash 1






That’s enough ranting for one day. Enjoy this sunset I captured last month:

Sunset December 20113


  1. Regarding your pet peeve, when occupy Wall Street left, they leftbehind all kinds of trash and filth, when Tea party people leave, the usually leave the place cleaner than before they arrived. Regarding the Fiat, it’s a cool car, alas it still has an internal combustion engine, it still requires the same air/fuel ratio, spark, and compression as the old points and carb systems, as such there is still a lot that an individule can do for sericing ones own set of wheels, in this country, Fiat did not do well, I hope they do better this go around than the last, automotive variety is a good thing!

    • Hi Joe,

      My point with the picture of the Fiat’s engine bay was the trend the last several years of manufacturer’s encasing the prime mover in a plastic cocoon. Cars with the engine visible at least invite the owner to look at the engine. Fact is, the era of the shade-tree mechanic pretty much came to an end with computer control. Most times I’ll do my own service; other times, it’s more cost-effective to pay someone else.

  2. I think the real reason they put those plastic beauty covers on these engines are to intimidate otherwise smart people from working on them, from what I understand is that the computer code in these engines does not change, yes there are mapped programs with a lot of variables, but the computers are otherwise not subject to outside influences like a computer virus with the caveat that you could add a tuner or retune a chip with a new map for upgraded performance. Many times you can pull the obd 2 codes that the computer identifies as the problem areas, but then you are still faced with diagnosing the problem setting off the code, in other words the computer may be saying you have a lean condition which could indicate an oxygen sensor or it could be that you would have a vacuum leak which could set off the same code, in the end if you are a busy with life, you are correct to take it in, me, I will take a look at it, I wished that I knew as much about computers as I know about cars.

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