Tag Archive | election

A Comedy of Censorship

The irony of opening my daily subscription email from Rational Review, a libertarian news digest, and seeing an item from Newsweek about how Russia is planning to ban Facebook from its country unless Facebook stores the data for Russian users inside Russia, which critics are deriding as an attempt to censor and control the Internet, was almost too much hilarity for my brain to take before I’d ingested any caffeine. On the surface, the law actually makes a fair bit of sense (though I’d obviously not support it). Requiring companies not to store user for Russians outside of Russia is a protective measure–surely we can all see why we Americans wouldn’t want the user data of Americans stored, as a matter of routine, in Russia (especially given the anti-Russian hysteria, which is what I’m getting into).

Of course, Newsweek couldn’t help but stoke the coals of aforementioned hysteria by adding at the end of their article:

Facebook representatives told U.S. lawmakers that 80,000 posts from 470 fake Russian accounts disseminated information on its network and that it shut down 5.8 million fake accounts in October 2016.

Alas, we almost made it through one entire article that mentioned “Facebook” and “Russia” without playing it into the anti-Russian propaganda being peddled by lunatics across the United States. To give you some perspective on this addled stupidity, because, only counting photo uploads, there are three hundred million Facebook posts a day. If we include text-only posts, there are two hundred, ninety-three thousand (293,000) every single second. Eighty thousand in one month versus the nearly three hundred thousand made every second is a ludicrously low ratio–enough that it’s not worth mentioning and, indeed, Facebook should be ashamed for mentioning it.

I don’t care for the word “disseminated,” either. The media is notoriously no longer neutral. As I observed in an unrelated article about the mythical “popular vote,” bias in the media takes a number of forms, and the most subtle and insidious is the deliberate choice of loaded words. “Disseminated” is one such word. Almost any word would have been more neutral–perhaps “shared?” Or “posted?” Clearly, the journalists themselves only constitute half the problem; no editor who is good at what they do should have allowed that statement through. Not only is it loaded heavily, but it’s also stated poorly. Briefly, I’d have edited it to:

Representatives of Facebook reported to Congress that 80,000 posts from 470 dummy Russian accounts posted to its network, and that Facebook shut down 5.8 million fake accounts in October 2016.

I’d rate their version as a 4 / 10 (-4 points for blatant bias, -1 point for reuse of “fake” in a single sentence, and -1 for violating parallelism, which is far more important than people think).

Anyway, Newsweek in their article also failed to note who these “critics” are, but one has to give the benefit of the doubt and assume the critics are Russian. After all, it would just be silly for Americans to be accusing the Russian government of censorship when our social media titans are being compelled to report to Congress on what measures they are taking to censor their networks.

Recently on The Call to Freedom, of which I am a co-host with former libertarian vice presidential candidate Will Coley and recovering Republican Thom Gray (live every Sunday night at 10pm EST, and the encore airs Tuesday at 3pm EST at https://www.lrn.fm), I asked Thom Gray what the problem is with Russians posting on Facebook for either presidential candidate, a sentiment with which Will agreed, because it works just like anything else. If Russians, English, the French, the Spanish, the Catalan, or anyone else wishes to post to Facebook, then they’re basically allowed to do that*.

Maybe Facebook should implement a tool where users will never, ever see posts from people who live in countries other than their own.

Sounds horrific, doesn’t it?

This is the Global Age. In half a second, I can chat or play chess with someone in Russia, China, or Pakistan right now. We should be using this technology to communicate with one another, to learn what the other cares about, to learn what motivates them, and to learn that they’re people, just like us. That enormous ocean that once prevented people in the United States from recognizing that the Japanese circa 1940CE were real people was bridged by the Internet and World Wide Web, and we should be rejoicing in this, not freaking out, panicking, and seeking the isolationist approach. And let’s not mince words about this: what people are proposing is effectively isolationism.

In hindsight, I suppose it was always inevitable for the kneejerk reaction. We’ve seen it in countless other ways. Diversity and peace champions celebrate when LGBT people are allowed to exist in peace, but become regretful and remorseful when LGBT people start moving into their neighborhoods and in the vicinity of their children. Of course, similar things happened when black people began moving into certain neighborhoods, too, and when Mexican began coming into the United States. Satirical comedy South Park has drawn attention to this on at least two occasions, in the episodes “Goobacks” and “Here Comes the Neighborhood.” So it’s something we should all be familiar with.

Being able to communicate and interact with people on the other side of the planet instantly sounds great… until they post things you don’t like that allegedly influenced voters, who in turn voted in a way that you don’t like. So, once again, it absolutely must be said: the entirety of this Russian fiasco is the allegation that Russians influenced American voters. The contention has not been that “Russians influenced the election” since the audits of a few states in December of last year showed no irregularities. American voters voted for Trump. The allegation is that they voted for Trump because they were duped by Russians. So even if all the allegations are true, it changes nothing, because an American voter can take information from any source that they like and use it to cast their vote for any person that they like for any reason that they like.

Let’s imagine that the raving paranoids get their wish. Not only does Russia ban Facebook from its country (doing significant damage to the Russian people’s ability to communicate in the process, which, granted, the hysterical lunatics don’t care about anyway), but Facebook implements some sort of stern measure to keep Russian posts, where they might still exist, from appearing to the delicate, confused, sensitive, and gullible American masses. But oh no! Trump doesn’t run in 2020, and instead Ted Cruz wins the Republican nomination, whereupon he finds himself running against Joe Biden (the only standing Democrat that would have a realistic shot of winning the presidency). Unfortunately, Cruz wins the White House.

There are no Russians to use as a tool of challenging the legitimacy of Cruz’s victory and as a method of undermining his presidency. Who else might have such capabilities? The Chinese. I have very little doubt that the Chinese would be the next scapegoat. A few audits would show the voting results are more or less accurate (one has to wonder why they aren’t 100% accurate, though, given that they’re almost all electronic now), which would leave people unable to say that the election was rigged. They’ll resort to the tactic of saying that voters were misled, and it was the Chinese who convinced all the stupid, gullible people to vote for Cruz. Or perhaps the Democrat would win, and Republicans would try that tactic–with the “Obama is a Kenyan Muslim!” thing, they’ve certainly got a history of doing so.

We might go through this entire charade again, and it might culminate in the widespread elimination of China from Facebook. At that point, we could say, “Congratulations, America. You’ve effectively isolated yourself from 25% of the world’s population.” What would happen in 2024, when someone else inevitably won the White House, and the other side picked, perhaps, Brazil as the scapegoat? Or the European Union–unlikely though that is, since we have an enormous blindspot for Europe–see how Spain has invaded Catalonia and denied its right to self-governance, the most anti-democratic thing to happen in the last few decades in Europe, and yet we’ve done nothing to defend the Catalans from the occupying forces of Spain, and many people don’t even consider this a violation of democracy. Let’s face it, if Georgia declared independence from Russia and Russia invaded Georgia, Americans would be yelling and screaming about the invasion and violation of Georgian rights, and… Wait a minute.

See? It doesn’t matter how tyrannical and undemocratic Spain’s actions are. We can’t see them in the proper light, because they’re “western society,” too. So even though they have done to Catalonia exactly what we condemned Russia for doing to Georgia (and going even further, in fact, since Spanish police actually attacked people who were trying to vote, destroyed ballots, and other atrocious things), we don’t call them out on it. We also know that people in the UK, Italy, Germany, and other nations were posting on Facebook about the 2016 presidential election, and that they, too, were “disseminating information,” but we’re not freaking out about that, are we?

Russia is only our enemy if we make them our enemy. There is absolutely no reason we can’t get along with Russia as well as we do with Germany. In fact, we should get along better with Russia, seeing as Russia has never caused a world war–in fact, we once allied with them to fight those world wars–and I don’t think we’ve ever actually been at war with Russia. What is really our problem with Russia? It’s the same problem we’ll have with China in ten more years. They’ve committed two grave sins for which we cannot forgive them:

They refuse to bow to American supremacy, and they aren’t western.

That is the heart of American foreign policy. That horrible, racist, arrogant, entitled, and condescending attitude is the heart of all that the United States does on a global scale. The United States’ position on any country can be deduced by answering three basic questions:

  1. Do they bow to American supremacy? This includes taking no public issue with the USD, of course. There is almost no recovering from this–anyone who doesn’t bow to American supremacy is almost immediately an enemy, unless…
  2. Are they western and mostly white? Although we won’t seriously entertain the possibility that Greece, Germany, or the UK are truly “equal” to us, we will, for the most part, allow the European Union as a whole to consider itself equal to the United States. Individually, however, each country is considered inferior to the U.S., and we wouldn’t tolerate any suggestion otherwise. If 1 and 2 are both false, then #3 doesn’t even matter.
  3. Do they give us oil? Sadly, this is still an important consideration, although it’s not the greatest any longer. It is, however, the reason we’re always kissing Saudi Arabia’s ass, even though they don’t really bow to American supremacy.

If they don’t have the audacity to not be any color other than white European and don’t have the audacity to refuse to bow to American supremacy, then we will tolerate them in much the same way that we handle cats and dogs. They’re quaint and cute little things that exist for our pleasure, and nothing else. If they do have the audacity to not be white European, to not bow to American supremacy, and to not sell us oil, then we don’t care much for them unless we can exploit them in some other way (like how we import cheap goods from China)–and even then we don’t like them, and merely tolerate them.

Our entire foreign policy is built on American supremacy. This is alarming, since the United States is almost certain to be removed from the #1 spot technologically, economically, and military within the next twenty years.

The Russia hysteria can be briefly summarized like this:

How dare Russians act like they have freedom of speech or something, by posting things on the Internet that gullible American voters might believe!

* Let’s not spend four thousand words clarifying that statement, k? You know what I mean.

Libertarian Developments

In a series of awesome developments, Austin Petersen defected (I wish him well but I’m glad he’s gone) from the Libertarian Party to the Republican Party, as I and countless others predicted he would, while Vice Chair Arvin Vohra signed up for the Audacious Caucus and announced his own Senate campaign, and while the Audacious Caucus released its proposed platform.

Show them no mercy, my dude.

There unfortunately is little that I can do to help Arvin Vohra with his campaign, but I’ve signed up to do so as a general volunteer and offered my services as the owner of a tech consultant firm. My only regret is that he’s not running for my state, because I can think of no one better suited to be in the Senate than Arvin “Pull No Punches” Vohra.

Transphobia

I’ve seen many people accuse Arvin of being transphobic. This is abject nonsense stemming from the idea that anyone who doesn’t toe the social justice warrior line is some kind of phobic. Arvin is not and has never said anything that was remotely transphobic.

The primary point of contention is that Arvin dared point out the glaring conflict of interest that pharmaceutical companies have regarding transsexualism. This is an observation, not a judgment. Getting medical advice from pharmaceutical companies is like getting diet advice from Burger King. Pharmaceutical companies are trying to sell people stuff, and their advice is going to be biased toward selling people stuff.

It’s true that pharmaceutical companies would love the entire population to be lifelong purchases of cheap and easy-to-produce hormones. A transsexual person is a lifelong customer, and that’s going to remain the case until medical science advances to the point that we can use stem cells to grow a person their own replacement testicles or ovaries or whatever. In other words, it’s going to remain true for a very long time–decades, at the very least.

John McAfee once remarked that he spent an evening wining and dining a stunningly beautiful woman, whom he described as, “One of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen.” And she turned out to be a drag queen. Although McAfee didn’t say, it was left implied that he walked away, and he remarked about it, “Once you’ve experienced that, you realize how mercurial perception really is,” or something to that effect. I’m sure some lunatics accused McAfee of being transphobic, but he clearly isn’t.

Earlier today I saw an article written by a trans woman about how straight men “should” be attracted to transsexual women, and that they’re homophobic if they aren’t. That’s the sort of SJWism that runs rampant, and anyone who disagrees with any aspect of their worldview becomes some kind of phobic. However, it’s bullshit. I’m not attracted to guys and find the notion of two guys kissing to be gross. It’s not because I’m homophobic; it’s because I’m not attracted to one guy, much less two. Meanwhile, there’s nothing more awesome to me than two women kissing.

I love chicks. I consider myself a lesbian. Technically, that makes me both sexist and homophobic. Although the reality is that everyone who isn’t omnisexual is sexist. If you’re a straight man or woman, then you’re sexist. If you’re a gay man or lesbian, then you’re sexist. The trans woman who wrote that article is sexist, because she didn’t point out that women should be interested in trans women. That sort of thinking is a rabbit hole of hypocrisy, because the truth is that everyone is sexist, and it doesn’t really matter. Why would she specify that men should be interested in trans women? Such a contention is automatically sexist itself, and an attempt to dictate her sexual preferences (noting her usage of that terrible word “should”) of heterosexuality (with her provision that trans women “should” simply be considered women) onto others. In effect, she was stating that men should be straight. So how dare she accuse anyone of homophobia while arguing such a blatantly homophobic thing.

And those are the kind of people who accuse Arvin of transphobia, so it’s best to take their accusations with a grain of salt.

Audacity

Arvin will fit in well with the Audacious Caucus. I’m up for Full Membership right now and expect to be voted in successfully, although I’m worried that my disagreements about identity politics with Outright Libertarians is going to hurt me. It shouldn’t, since the caucus exists to inspire audacity and not force 100% agreement among its members (if anything, one’s willingness to disagree should earn “Yea” votes, as long as the disagreement isn’t about the NAP), but one never knows.

The provisional platform is:

Platform of The Libertarian Party Audacious Caucus

Preamble

The Libertarian Party Audacious Caucus (LPAC) is an audacious group that puts principles first, setting personalities free. We assert the primacy of the Principle of Non-aggression enshrined in the Libertarian Party’s Statement of Principles. Our silence here pertaining to any particular subject should not be interpreted as indifference, but rather as an acknowledgement that our stance on the issue can be easily derived from our firm stance of non-aggression.

Instead, we choose to use this platform as a tool to set ourselves apart from other factions within the party. We choose to use this document to boldly proclaim what other Libertarians dare not whisper. The intent of the planks found here is to provoke and inspire those who fear a world set free in our lifetimes. Our goal is not to parrot those who have come before us, but to delineate what makes us unique.

We, the members of the Libertarian Party Audacious Caucus, proudly adopt the following platform:

Statement of Principles

The Libertarian Party Audacious Caucus holds firm to the Principle of Non-aggression. Around the globe, people live, work and die under the shackles of the state. We stand as not only a challenge to the cult of the omnipotent state, but a threat to it.

We hold one goal above all others, a world set free in our lifetimes. We will not limit ourselves to one tactic, instead, we set individuals free to choose their own paths, asking only that they hold firm to the Non-aggression Principle.

We wish to see the Non-aggression Principle as a valuable vehicle for reshaping society into one that respects the rights of individuals. We know that replicating the failed ways of the old parties that dominate political discourse is a recipe for stagnation, not growth.

All we ask is that you lose your chains, and join us in our fight to liberate mankind. Be audacious!

I. Rothbard’s Button

The Audacious Caucus accepts incrementalism only as a last resort. Recognizing that social change can occur gradually, or through massive upheaval, we favor the method of change that gets us to our goal as quickly as possible. If we are to achieve a world set free in our lifetimes, we cannot fear change, we must embrace it. While the abrupt elimination of the state may have a negative impact on many of those who depend upon it, we see this as an acceptable trade for eliminating it as an impediment to achieving liberty. We advocate maximum freedom, achieved as quickly as possible, by any means necessary. The Libertarian Party Audacious Caucus considers temporary chaos to be an acceptable risk, if the reward is a chance at a world set free from the tyranny of the state.

II. Criminal Justice

We believe that the state is an invalid institution, and thus we believe all convictions and punishments meted out by a state sponsored criminal justice system are equally invalid. We call for the immediate release of all persons currently incarcerated by the state and federal government, regardless of the nature of the offense for which they were convicted. We also demand the immediate expungement of all criminal records created by state and federal courts.

III. Drugs

The LPAC supports an end to the war on drugs. Our support is not limited merely to legalization of marijuana, we support the full removal of all government intervention in any drug usage, production, sale or distribution. We encourage individuals to reject the war propaganda that surrounds drug use. We support the individual right to experiment with any substance consumed voluntarily.

IV. Unions

We support the right of the people to voluntarily associate in, or to establish, labor unions. We believe that an employer may recognize a union as the collective bargaining agent of some or all of its employees. We oppose governmental interference in bargaining, such as banning of closed shop contracts. We demand that so called “Right to Work” laws be repealed. We recognize voluntary contracts between employers and labor unions as being legally and morally binding on the parties to such contracts.

V. Immigration and Borders

The Libertarian Party Audacious Caucus is not for closing or opening national borders, it is for eliminating national borders. Borders exist only as the limit of the jurisdiction of gangs, competing over control of territory, resources and people. Until those gangs are tossed into the trash bin of history where they rightfully belong, we will tolerate them staying out of the movement of people across these arbitrary lines. We will fight against any attempt to enforce the tyrannical dictates that tear apart families and punish peaceful people for not asking permission to cross an imaginary line.

VI. War, Violence and Military

War, being state sanctioned mass murder, is steadfastly opposed by the LPAC. Its ramifications, economically and morally, are never justifiable. We do not accept the need for violence outside of defense, and disavow all those who voluntarily support the military, war or who participate in violence outside of defense.

VII. Policing

The police exist as the domestic enforcement arm of the gang known as the state. Without their constant aggression, the state would be powerless to enact the theft, coercion and degradation that is it’s modus operandi. There is no such thing as a “good cop” because by their very nature police are compelled to enforce edicts that even full blown statists would consider immoral. The LPAC rejects the Nuremberg Defense that “just following orders” is a valid excuse for immoral actions.

VIII. Children’s Rights

We believe that “children” are human beings and, as such, have the same rights as any other human beings. Any reference in this platform to the rights of human beings includes “children.” We believe that “children” have the moral authority to live their lives independent of externally imposed authority, and challenge the right of anyone to impose restrictions on them based solely upon their age.

IX. Reproductive Rights

Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good faith views on all sides, we believe that the state should be kept out of the matter. The state must repeal all existing laws that restrict, regulate or impose civil or criminal penalties on providers and patients for the production, distribution, or use of contraceptives, abortifacients or abortion procedures. Additionally, the state must not require medical professionals to provide their patients with any controceptives, abortifacients or abortion procedures. Furthermore, we oppose public funding of any controceptive or abortion procedure for the same reason we oppose public funding of any medical procedure or service.

X. Sex Worker’s Rights

Sex workers are the unsung heroes of freedom in America, many of our social freedoms were pioneered by prostitutes, strippers and porn stars throughout our history and continue today as the sex industry moves to capitalize on modern innovations. As such the Libertarian Party Audacious Caucus will take up the banner of sex work as a genuine and worthwhile profession that puts food on the table in thousands of American households. We oppose the regulation and banning of any area of this industry by moralizing busybodies. We support the repeal of all laws regulating or prohibiting the possession, use, sale, production or distribution of sexually explicit material. We reject the tying in of human trafficking with sex work and recognize that by pushing what could be a lucrative industry for millions of Americans into the shadows, it is those who oppose it that fuel human trafficking.

XI. Intellectual Property

Intellectual property exists as a form of government fiat over the ideas and property of all those under its jurisdiction. As technology advances through the innovative sharing of ideas and digital goods, it is up to those creating such goods to innovatively guarantee their own revenue stream, without reliance on government to protect their monopoly. We support an end to the war on file sharing and “piracy” which is both an immoral, and an ineffective, means of preventing the sharing of ideas.

It’s a thing of beauty, isn’t it?

I included links to show that my position on these issues predates my membership in / exposure to the Libertarian Party Audacious Caucus, and to provide my reasoning to support those positions. Others may provide better reasons, but those are mine. I’ve intentionally not written about sex here, since I’m using the alias “Anarchist Shemale,” it’s important to me to maintain that distance, but I suppose I’ll have to now.

Anyway, so awesome stuff is happening! Join the Libertarian Party today. Our Vice Chair is about to rock the political arena.

Brothers and Sisters, We Don’t Have To Put Up With This Shit

Don’t get me wrong. I know the media doesn’t care about my trust. They’ve successfully polarized the nation into liberals and conservatives, and the result is that it doesn’t matter what a news outlet reports. Liberals will accuse conservative outlets of bias and untruthful reporting, and conservatives will accuse liberal outlets of bias and untruthful reporting. Each and every issue gets carved into two halves, and what the average American believes is far more dependent on their political views than anything that might resemble truth. Naturally, this leads to shocking amounts of hysteria and hypocrisy. One day, you have the left criticizing Wikileaks and leaks in general while the right praises them; the next, the right criticizes Wikileaks and leaks in general while the left praises them. One day, conservatives cheer for the committee investigating Hillary while liberals condemn it; the next, liberals cheer for the committee investigating Trump’s alleged Russian ties while conservatives condemn it.

While I do enjoy pointing out the glaring hypocrisy, I know that it does no good, because it requires self-awareness to identify one’s own hypocrisy, and if they had any self-awareness at all we wouldn’t be in this mess.

But we are in this mess, and the media has played the biggest role in making it this way.

I think it’s time for a public admission from liberal news elements like The Guardian, CNN, Huffington Post, and all the others that they knowingly terrorized the population to support their political agenda. Have we forgotten the post election headlines? The constant fear and doom mongering? The headlines telling us that we needed to be afraid, that Trump’s tweets made him the next Hitler. “The Republic repeals itself!” and articles from resident lunatic Jessica Valenti about how she’s going to tell her daughter that we elected a racist, misogynist bully. The non-stop spiel from people saying “I’m disabled–imagine what Trump is going to do to me!” The people stating publicly that it was just a matter of time before conversion centers were on every corner, and LGBTQ people were being rounded up and electrocuted?

This shit happened.

I mean, the stuff that those lunatics raved about most certainly did not happen. But the lunatics did scream about it. Bloody hell, you’d have thought that we just elected LITERALLY Hitler to the presidency from the news headlines making the rounds. “You’re not dead, and you’re not in hell. You’re awake. You’re alive. This is your life now,” stated Rachel Maddow, with all pretense of fairness long discarded. And hers is among the less egregious of the horrific things the media peddled about how we were all about to die. “How Donald Trump Will Wreck the World Economy” ran other headlines. It was disgusting.

And there has been no apology. No indication that they feel any remorse whatsoever for this blatant terrorism, this lying, this manipulation, and this deceit.

We’re not weeping in the streets while Trump and his rightwing death squads round up and kill all the LGBTQ people, while they put disabled people in the ovens and cook them alive, and while Muslims are sent to concentration camps. Nothing has changed. Your life is the same as it was a year ago; my life is the same as it was a year ago. Even Trump’s travel bans aren’t new; Obama did it several times. Nothing Trump has done is any different at all from anything Obama did or that Bush Jr. did. All in all, things are proceeding right along exactly as they have always been.

Just contrast it to the world we were warned about four months ago! Fuck, you’d come away from the headlines expecting the KKK Grand Dragon or whatever to be the next Supreme Court Justice. You’d think that slavery was about to return, that forced registration of LGBTQ people was just around the corner, and that we omg we’re all about to die. I heard from people who were literally cowering in their homes in fear.

And it was the media–it was 100% the media that created, stoked, exaggerated, and heightened that fear.

They terrorized huge chunks of the American population just months ago, and they did the same shit over Brexit. “The sky is going to fall!” they shouted. “The economy will collapse! Muslims will be rounded up and killed! Xenophobes will rule the nation! We’ll be sold into slavery! We’re all going to die!”

And, again, none of that fucking shit happened.

Here we are proceeding along normally, doing nothing about the months of terrorism that was just inflicted on us by institutions that are supposed to at least pretend to be unbiased and fair. No, man. Fuck that. Fuck this. We don’t have to put up with this shit. Hold these fuckers accountable for what they did. That’s not okay. That’s not acceptable. You can’t terrorize people into supporting your political agenda.

That’s not okay.

I don’t actually care whether the people who spread this terrorism actually believed the lunacy pouring out of their mouths. Maybe they did, and maybe they didn’t. Maybe they knew that there was no chance at all that LGBTQ people would be forced into conversion therapy centers. Maybe they knew that men weren’t going to be able to run through the streets grabbing random women by the pussy. Maybe they knew that disabled people weren’t going to be euthanized. Maybe they believed this insanity, and maybe they didn’t. It doesn’t matter.

Because it’s reckless, irresponsible, and downright dangerous. Anyone who has ever encountered any wild animal can tell you that the most dangerous animal is the one that has been backed into a corner. And that’s precisely what the media attempted to do: convince everyone that we had been backed into a corner and that death squads were on the way. Now that none of their psychotic prophecies have come to pass, and there is no indication that anything at all is going to change, it is well past time to hold them accountable for it, make them apologize, and make them rue the goddamned day they thought that they could get away with terrorizing us.

We don’t have to put up with this shit, and we shouldn’t put up with it.

Stand up and scream at them, “No! I am a human being, and you will not push me around!”

Defending a Previous Post: Sociology isn’t a Hard Science

I read an article earlier about how the claim that the alt-right is a response to SJWism is one that has no evidence to support it, so I wanted to take the time to defend the assertion. However, it must be observed that sociology and the study of culture are not hard sciences, and a demand for confirming evidence of such claims isn’t quite fair. Why?

Because we can’t provide any evidence to back the assertion that the Civil Rights Movement was a response to decades of racial abuse of a white majority against a black minority. “It’s common sense, though!” right? Maybe, but there’s no evidence to support the claim, and there never can be.

We can point to specific events in the lives of Martin Luther King, Jr. and use it as evidence to say, “This example of racial discrimination spurred his action,” but that’s a far cry from being evidence for our generalized statement. Similarly, we can’t provide evidence for the statement that Rosa Parks was a part of the Civil Rights Movement because of systemic racial abuses; we can only provide evidence for the statement that Parks was a part of the Civil Rights Movement because she was not happy with how buses treated black Americans. The generalized statement that she participated because of various abuses cannot be substantiated.

This is, in fact, the essence of sociology, and the reason I titled the article as I did. When discussing the alt-right, we can only point to specific individuals and the reasons those individuals give to gather direct evidence. If we then want to extrapolate from their stated reasons and generalize an underlying current, then that current, by its very nature, cannot be demonstrated and can, by the people from which it was extrapolated, always be denied.

What if MLK Jr. pointed only to specific injustices he had suffered as the reasons for his involvement, and what if Parks, Malcolm X, and others did the same? Anyone who stated that the CRM was a response to widespread abuses would be unable to provide evidence for that claim; only specific events applying to specific people can have evidence. If they denied that they were motivated by general abuses, rather than specific ones, we would be unable to prove otherwise.

So the best we can do is provide indirect evidence for the claim, and even this will be tenuous, as all soft science evidence is. Once more, to summarize, this is because sociology consists entirely of taking individual and specific examples and extrapolating patterns. This involves evaluating numerous alt-rightists and their stated reasons, and combing through those reasons for unifying themes.

This doesn’t mean that we should be ready to accept any sociology claim without scrutiny and substantiating evidence, but it tells us quite a lot about what kind of evidence even can be presented, and what forms the evidence will take. As another example, Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom is filled with allegations and sociological explanations, yet it contains not one piece of hard evidence that a society of people “falling for the promises” of central planners will produce serfdom. By its very nature, all such evidence will be anecdotal.

Sorry for the small image.

Before we continue, it has been stated elsewhere that making this assertion is “waving off” the alt-right. I disagree entirely. Just as explaining a murderer’s motive is not excusing his crime, neither is explaining a political movement’s undercurrent waving it aside. The catalysts that created the alt-right are still there and, clearly, still problems. It serves us well to know how the whole thing came about, and this passes no judgment on the value of what, exactly, came about. I could tell someone that “Bob murdered his wife because she was having an affair” without expressing any disdain over Bob’s actions or motive, and without expressing any sympathy with Bob because of his motives. The statement imparts no approval or disapproval; it is simply a statement of motive.

It’s not hard to hop on over to YouTube and find alt-right people like Mark Dice, Milo Yuanwhateveris, The Non-Believer, Autopsy87, and Atheism is Unstoppable to find out exactly why these people went from “whatever they were” to alt-rightists. Only on very are occasions will they outright state their reasons for switching political ideologies, and this makes sense: I’m not sure that I could state the clear, objective reasons that I migrated from Republican conservatism at 15~ to Democrat to Communist to Libertarian to Anarchist, either. It’s a slow process of gradual change. Nor can I point to any specific moment when I went from “agnostic”–as people say, though it’s a misnomer–to atheist. Most atheists can’t, because we sort of just notice at some point down the line that we no longer believe in any deity. There’s usually no epiphany, and no story to tell. Just a gradual series of small evolutionary changes [pun intended].

My movement from Democrat to Communist, for example, was primarily because of the great Obama Betrayal, who won the Nobel Peace Prize and campaigned on the promise of bringing us peace, only to merrily continue the wars of his predecessor and starting several of his own. Around this same time, I watched Zeitgeist, which does contain some truth [more is the pity–sorry, my close parenthesis key is broken], and happily went on to Zeitgesit: Addendum and Zeitgeist: Moving Forward. The proposed Communist solutions sat well with me and made sense, but something about them didn’t sit right. I can tell you exactly what that “something” was: the assertion that “people don’t care about owning a good; they only care about being able to use a good… No one really cares whether or not they own a boat; they only want the ability to use a boat.” It made this claim as a way of justifying its communal property idea, but it never sat right with me.

It is, as one might say, “utter bullshit.”

It’s almost the exact opposite of what is true. In the majority of cases, people don’t care at all about using the good in question; they just want to own it. Can I provide evidence for this statement? No, because it’s a sociological one–it’s an extrapolation of some people’s identified behavior and an evaluation of the underlying current that unites the various exhibited behaviors. My brother-in-law, for example, owns a boat that he has never used. My landlord has a boat sitting in the yard that no one has used in at least a decade. Four wheelers, backhoes, boats–even my grandmother owns a tractor that she has never, ever used as long as I’ve been alive, and neither has anyone else. I have absolutely no doubt that we can all point to people who clearly just want to be able to say that they own something, and who don’t seem to care about actually using that thing.

Similarly, we could probably point to people, per Zeitgeist‘s claims, who don’t actually care about owning the thing, and who would just like to be able to use it. What are the numbers here? It’s unknown, really. All we can do is take partial surveys, and we can attempt to eliminate as much bias as possible, but in the end we can’t poll all 7 billion people on the planet. At absolute best, we could probably poll 150,000,000, at significant expense, but even then we wouldn’t be able to provide any hard evidence that it was actually scientifically sound to extrapolate from those one hundred fifty million and assume that the same pattern will hold true for seven billion.

I can go to the aforementioned Youtubers’ pages, after all, and carefully identify their stated and unstated reasons for being alt-right, and I could provide direct evidence to support the claims of why these particular people are alt-right. Mark Dice is alt-right because he is a fundamentalist Christian who believes the Satanic Illuminati is conquering the world, and using Satanic Hollywood to push its liberal agenda onto us. I could, in fact, then say that “The alt-right arose because fundamentalist Christians believe that globalism and modern liberalism are the work of Satan.” When pressed for direct evidence of this assertion, I could only point to Mark Dice and maybe a select few other people.

This would be woefully inadequate, though. The sample size is simply too small. Extrapolating from one single person onto an entire political movement is obviously folly, like polling one person prior to the election, having that person say that he thinks Trump will win, and then releasing the report that “Trump will win with 100% of the vote!” It would obviously be folly.

Before going further, I must again point out that we are always dealing with generalizations, and that anyone who would take a generalization and apply it as though the person using it meant it absolutely is using a deceitful and manipulative tactic. I might say “Dogs are good pets,” which is a generalized statement. Someone might say, “I guess you didn’t read about the pit bull that ate six kids. lol. Idiot.” This is a very common tactic, and it’s obviously deceitful, used to make the responder look like the one who is correct by, basically, shouting the loudest. My last article on the alt-right left plenty of room for exceptions, and stated so repeatedly regarding libertarians [though it still led to someone criticizing the statement “most of the libertarians that I know” as incorrect, even though the caveat is right there–“that I know”], but I’m on the record as pointing this out previously: we are never dealing in absolutes.

When we do go to various alt-right Youtubers, we do find a number underlying trends:

Hatred of political correctness and PC culture. I myself have criticized political correctness and the demonization of hate speech on several occasions, but I’m not alt-right. Clearly, this isn’t enough to warrant someone being alt-right.

Acceptance of LGB, but hatred of transgenderism. I’m not sure that there’s actually any acceptance of lesbians, gays, and bisexuals going on; I think instead that they’re simply accepting of LGB conservatives, in the same way that Democrats and outspoken LGBTQ groups are only accepting of LGBTQ liberals. However, even accepting LGB, the alt-right still has major hatred for transgenderism, to the extent that it’s almost a dead giveaway that someone is alt-right.

Criticism of BLM. Again, I have criticized Black Lives Matter as being racist, and it’s a statement that I have demonstrated. By definition, yes, BLM is racist.

Acceptance of police brutality. “The police are good guys. If they shoot you, you must have deserved it.” This ties into the above point, especially when a white person is shot, and they immediately start clamoring, “Where is BLM speaking up for this white kid who was killed?” Conversely, they may use this examples of police brutality against white people to write off the concerns of BLM. The Non-Believer has a video that does this, by showing a lot of police brutality against white people, he attempted to undermine the claims that police use brutality with racist motives by ignoring the brutality and addressing the racist part.

Male/Straight/White Pride. This is the indicator. This is, by a wide margin, the single best identifier of who is alt-right and who isn’t. It’s not universal–I don’t think I’ve ever seen Mark Dice talk of Male Pride, Straight Pride, or White Pride. So let me clarify this point–

They play identity politics, but as white people, straight people, or male people. Mark Dice has done this, repeatedly, by pointing out that Twitter turns a blind eye to racism committed by black people while banning any white person who says something racist. He does an excellent job of documenting such actions, and I’d almost say that Mark Dice isn’t really alt-right but just kinda exists in his own political group. Instead of arguing that the speaker’s skin color shouldn’t be a factor when determining whether they said something race, Dice argues that people with black skin color should be treated the same way. Again, it’s like my MLK point; it may have the same short-term result, but “how we get there” is critically important, as the method dictates the long-term result because it keeps skin color as a factor.

It is hard to provide any direct evidence that the alt-right is a reactionary movement to SJWism, because… it’s just kinda what happened. We all saw it. I’m more shocked that it has to be explained than anything, because… didn’t we all watch it happen, live, in real time? Didn’t we all hear the same complaints raised, the same objections, the same points? Didn’t we all notice the revulsion of Political Correctness with widespread usages of “nigga,” “fag,” and so on? Didn’t we all notice the “Proud White Male” bumper stickers? Not displayed publicly, of course, on vehicles or anything. No, certainly not–in the backgrounds of people’s videos.

How shall I explain that a circle is round?

We all saw the rise of identity politics on the left. Hell, identity politics has altogether conquered the left, to the point that the left has no other argument to make for itself and its positions. All they have left is identity politics; it’s the only card they have left to play. Democrats have stopped trying to argue for their ideology–whatever it once was–and now simply call everyone who isn’t a Democrat homophobic, Islamophobic, xenophobic, transphobic, or some other kind of phobic. We all watched this happen–live, in real time. I don’t recall seeing anyone try to make an argument for Hillary Clinton in the year-long fiasco that was the 2016 election. All I saw was people saying that if you didn’t vote for Hillary, you couldn’t call yourself an ally. All I saw was people calling other people “race traitors” for not supporting Hillary.

Again, all I can do is point to specific occurrences, and I’ve done so in the past, so I won’t do so again. Infowars brought us the video of a [white, it may be worth mentioning here] Hillary supporter calling a black man a race traitor for supporting Trump. They threw away all pretense of trying to argue for their candidate; instead it was, “We’ll just call everyone else names.” This isn’t uncommon.

We all saw it, right? No, it wasn’t universal and unanimous, but, generally, it was definitely true. And this is just the worst; it has been going on for a very long time. It was predicted, in fact, that there would rise a white, male, straight, Christian identity group to combat the left’s identity groups. I made the prediction in 2012 as I Over E, though that site has long been gone. Anyone watching should have been able to figure it out; it was right there, as plain as day. Why would people expect anything else to happen?

It is the same underlying trend that caused me to predict Trump’s victory as early as December 2015, and the same underlying trend that caused me to predict an upcoming civil war. I’m sorry to say, but it’s all right there, plain as day for anyone to look. There’s no hard evidence, no, because it’s impossible to provide hard evidence for generalized statements that were extrapolated from specific instances. Such is the nature of sociology. The writing is on the wall; one either sees it, or one doesn’t.

I Don’t Care About Trump’s Appointments

I seem to be a bit anomalous, in that I don’t care even slightly about the people that President Elect Donald Trump chooses to head various federal agencies. The only appointment of his that I have any interest in would be the Supreme Court Justice slot, and my prediction on that is that Trump is going to wait until after his inauguration to let us know who he favors. At the very least, we won’t know until after the Electors have voted.

Thanks to friends who are interested, I see the appointments. I see how Trump picked an Exxon CEO to be… Secretary of State, I think? And someone named DeVos is going to head the Department of Education, if I recall correctly. I don’t care, though, because the whole thing just smacks of tyranny. More than anything, the post-election focus on Trump’s staff and department heads highlights just how broken the American government is, that these positions of extreme power are not elected but appointed.

I am reminded of Thomas Paine’s remarks in The Rights of Man about how France did not find itself under the one despot of King Louis and how there were, in fact, many competing despotisms, some inherited and some newly created, and that Louis himself was little more than the symbol of the myriad tyrannies that stifled the French people:

When despotism has established itself for ages in a country, as in France, it is not in the person of the king only that it resides. It has the appearance of being so in show, and in nominal authority; but it is not so in practice and in fact. It has its standard everywhere. Every office and department has its despotism, founded upon custom and usage. Every place has its Bastille, and every Bastille its despot. The original hereditary despotism resident in the person of the king, divides and sub-divides itself into a thousand shapes and forms, till at last the whole of it is acted by deputation. This was the case in France; and against this species of despotism, proceeding on through an endless labyrinth of office till the source of it is scarcely perceptible, there is no mode of redress. It strengthens itself by assuming the appearance of duty, and tyrannies under the pretence of obeying.

How sad and tragic that this 18th century literature holds so strikingly true today, when we have had the benefit of the United States Constitution and two centuries of education, rationalism, enlightenment, and productivity with which we might have forever cast off the yoke of despotism.

“Drain the swamp!” Trump said during his campaign–a fact that I have only just now bothered to even remark on, because my hyper-cynical libertarianism recognized it immediately as the meaningless slogan that it was–a useless platitude and empty promise to further ignite the “populist” base that propelled him to victory. Hardly a week had gone by, though, that President Elect Donald Trump made it clear that he intended to bathe in the swamp. This is not the pining of someone who expected better, though, but a withdrawn recognition that it was inevitable, just as King Louis would have been utterly unable to effect the changes in government that the French people wanted to see, king or not.

No matter how benevolent King Louis XVI might have been–and it does seem that he was as moderate a monarch as the French people could have hoped for at that period in history–he was as bound by the tyranny of the French government as were the French people who eventually dethroned and executed him. So, too, is it irrelevant how benevolent Trump might be*, how well-intentioned, how moderate, or how compelled he is to complete his countless conflicting campaign contracts.

The tyranny under which the American people suffer–they are extraneous to the office of the President, and the President has little to no power to change them, and I would venture the statement that even Congress has become powerless to change them. Obviously, the CIA is foremost among such agencies: here is a governmental agencies of spies, run by people who were not elected, who play partisan politics, who now operate within the United States, who lied directly to Congress, who involved us in Iraq under false pretenses where at least 150,000 civilians have been killed, who planned Operation Northwoods, who executed Project MK-ULTRA, and who executed Project Paperclip. This agency is responsible, at the very least, for these crimes against the American People–and it can be called nothing else, when the agency kidnaps and tortures American citizens in the name of torture and psychotropic drug “research,” no doubt ideas they got from the people they imported during Project Paperclip–continues on unabated, unchecked, uncontrolled, and uncontested. What difference does it make whether this horrific agency is headed by someone appointed by President Obama or someone appointed by President Trump?

None.

The same holds true of all the government agencies to some degree, though many have crimes against the American people that are less brazen and more oppressive. The Food and Drug Administration, for example, with its absurd shenanigans–it’s hard to even identify a place to start. Aspartame** is probably a good starting point, considering the FDA classified it as a poison for a very long time. Suddenly, though, the FDA decided that it wasn’t a poison after all, and then-head of the FDA resigned and went on to join the board of directors for the company that–shocker of shockers–held the patent on aspartame. There were other things in the news more recently, and libertarians blew the horn on the FDA’s ridiculous bullshit over something that started with a “k.” I don’t recall what, but it’s not of much significance, not really.

How about the IRS? Is Trump’s new appointment to the IRS going to forgive the tax debt of everyone who earns less than fifty thousand dollars a year? Not bloody likely. And I can tell you from first-hand experience that the IRS embodies the spirit of tyranny: unchecked and uncontested, they declare anything they want and they have the power to turn their arbitrary rulings into requirements. The only thing saving me from the IRS is that they are too big, I am too small, and the debt is too small–respectively, for them, at least. If it was $20,000 or $200,000 I have very little doubt that they would throw their might at me. And their might? It is inescapable and indestructible.

So what reason could I possibly have to care that King Louis XV died and has been replaced by King Louis XVI? However well-intentioned he might be, the nature of the state itself is that King Louis does not–indeed, cannot–know that such a person as myself even exists, much less that the state oppresses me. Does the state oppress me? Of course, but I don’t mean to say that it oppresses me more than it oppresses anyone else.

The insidious nature of the state and government regulations is precisely that freedoms are so hard to notice when they’re absent. We humans are creatures of comparison. In order for a man to know he is not free to do something, he must be able to compare his life to some scenario–even a hypothetical one–where he is free to do it. But when it has not been made simply illegal but has been erased entirely from existence, it becomes a matter of extreme imagination to envision scenarios where we might be free but aren’t, where we might have something but don’t.

Our war against the state is beautiful in that it shows how remarkably industrious and creative we are as free, independent people. When the government granted itself the exclusive right to deliver mail and then drove itself into the ground–as fascism is prone to doing–the productivity and ingenuity of liberty stepped forward and delivered: email, facsimile machines, and text messaging were born. “Paperless” is increasingly the trend, further putting the USPS out of business, a relic of the past because government regulations obsoleted the government agency. It was inevitable–by stifling competition, the USPS established a monopoly, promptly became inefficient, and we clever, creative people worked around the letter of the law. I don’t even have a mail box or a Post Office box. That’s how obsolete the USPS is.

What solutions might we have come up with fifty years ago, if the USPS hadn’t outlawed competition? It took a very long time for us to come up with a cost effective, expedient, and efficient solution to undermine the USPS’s tyranny over the delivering of mail–for a long time the literal lifeblood of communication in the country–is it any wonder they wanted to control it? Technology had to advance considerably just for us to be able to do something as simple as deliver a message from one part of the country to another without going through the slow bureaucracy of the USPS.

I mentioned to a friend earlier today that I am tired of shaving… pretty much my entire body, every single day, and so I’m considering trying out Nair. I’m not sure that would be cost effective, though–shaving is pretty cheap, especially when you soak your razors overnight in alcohol*^. I don’t have the patience to let my hair grow long enough to wax it, and I hate being prickly anyway. Then it occurred to me.

Why aren’t there^* At Home Laser Hair Removal kits already?

I can buy a laser pointer powerful enough to crash a 747. Why can’t I buy a Laser Hair Removal kit?

I can buy tattoo guns. In fact, I have tattoo guns. I did most of my tattoos myself. Of course, that’s rife with regulations, but the government can’t keep people in prison from building tattoo guns and giving one another tattoos, so how could they possibly accomplish it out here in wider society? For that matter, they can’t keep guns, drugs, and HIV out of prison, either. So even if they could turn the entire country into a prison in their quest for Max Gun Control and Max Drug Control–which would be necessary, as I enjoy reminding liberals–they still wouldn’t be able to catch that red herring.

I am absolutely positive that, if the government wasn’t in the way, DIY Laser Hair Removal kits would be available. You can buy far more dangerous stuff than that, after all.

Like aspartame, for example.

There was a strange divergence among self-proclaimed libertarians during the 2016 election, and while I know the “type,” I haven’t been able to fully articulate it. They have a nationalist streak and an anti-Islam streak, and while they do qualify as libertarians, they were more than willing to sell out and look the other way on freaking everything that was wrong with Donald Trump in the name of their nationalism and anti-Islamism. I know a few of them, and it’s those people that I think of when I hear the phrase “Drain the swamp!” because they did take Trump at face value; they believed he would do so.

So what is the Federal Government to me? What difference do Trump’s appointments make?

None.

There is Congress, the Executive Branch, and the Supreme Court. That’s the Constitutional way, right? How very unsurprising that the President who led the charge on the creation of these independent regulatory bodies was none other than Abraham Lincoln–commonly called one of the greatest Presidents in American History, despite the fact that he killed more than a million Americans, started a civil war, suspended habeus corpus, deported a senator, and oversaw the creation of the first independent regulatory agencies. What happened was simple: the government pointed to a group of people and said, “Hey, group of people. Now you can tell the American people what they can and can’t do.”

And… well. We can readily see that this snowballed out of control. How many agencies are listed there? One thousand? I’m not going to count, and I doubt the list is exhaustive anyway.

Constitutionally, there are two people in the Federal Government who have authority to tell you what you can and cannot do: your U.S. Senator and your district’s Representative. Two. That’s it–that is the full and exhaustive list of everyone with the “rightful” power to exercise authority over you, and the “power” they have over you is extremely limited and specifically enumerated. There are like 8 things they’re allowed to do, and only then according to fairly strict standards and criteria.

Yet here we see a list of what I’m guessing is a thousand government agencies–none of them elected and none of them accountable–all with power over you, and all competing with one another for the power to tell you what you can and can’t do. It’s rather easy to compare that gargantuan list to the Constitutional two that there should be. Even if each of those agencies has only a single employee, that is roughly one thousand people with authority over you, with the authority to dictate your life, with the power to tell you what you can and can’t do, with the power to tell you what you can and can’t have, with the power to take options away from you and establish monopolies that have you at their mercy.

This isn’t even a problem that can be fixed by “draining the swamp.”

Draining the swamp isn’t going to help you the next time you’re at the DMV and a smart ass government employee denies your new commercial license for whatever reason, because someone pissed in her Cheerios. Draining the swamp isn’t going to help the fact that you have to purchase the government’s permission to commute from one place to another. Draining the swamp isn’t going to help the thousand government agencies who are dictating your life every moment of every day, a condition that we’re just so accustomed to that we don’t even notice it anymore. That requirement to have an inspection sticker, to have liability insurance, to stop at stop signs, to drive a certain speed. And it’s true many of these examples are handled at the state level, but Sonny learns from Daddy; state governments take their cues on how to behave from the federal government, clearly, since the entire point of southern secession was for state governments to maintain their autonomy. Now they’re just enforcers of federal statutes.

Trump can’t abolish these agencies any more than King Louis could have shut down the Bastille. He could appoint people to them who were going to cut and undo all of their agency’s regulations–like appointing Ron Paul to head the IRS. That would be something, wouldn’t it? The Executive Branch might not have the legislative authority to abolish these institutions***, but the agencies themselves certainly have the power now to undo all their regulations. But Trump isn’t a libertarian, and I don’t know why so many people forgot that. He’s not going to name Judge Andrew Napolitano to the Supreme Court, and he’s not going to name Ron Paul Secretary of the Treasury.

Trump isn’t a fucking libertarian, not even of the Big L variety.

He’s better than Hillary solely because Hillary routinely indicated that she wanted to go to war with Russia; she even said point-blank in one of the debates that she felt it was prudent to respond militarily to finger-quotes-wink-wink “Russian hacking.” As far as everything else goes, he is and has always been just another statist. He has always been willing to play ball.

My only hope for a Trump presidency is that he will hopefully attempt to bridge the enormous divide between liberals and conservatives and that he will, in so doing, inadvertently restore the Tenth Amendment to its proper place and remind us all that we are supposed to be more concerned with our state congresses than with our national congress, with our state supreme court than the national supreme court, and with our governor than the President.

But do I have any faith or hope that King Louis XVI is going to give the French people the liberty they seek?

I’ll see you in the Bastille before that happens.

Or should I say “Gitmo?”

* Assuming, for the argument, that he is. I don’t have many feelings about Trump one way or another.

** I can’t vouch for these sources. I’m going off memory and only looked for a link to provide people with a starting point to research it; it’s not a conspiracy theory, though. It actually happened this way.

*^ Pro tip: razors very slowly get dull. They get gunked up by dead skin cells. This is why barbers use barbicide. Soak your blades in alcohol–but be sure to rinse them–and they will last for months. I’ve seen people go through five-blade razors in a week. A 5-blade razor should last three months, easily.

^* For the second time today, I used “their” instead of “there” initially. That’s starting to concern me. I make a lot of slips on occasion, but never that type of mistake.

*** It’s worth mentioning that the legislative branch didn’t have the authority to create them, either. Think about it in any other terms. Just because your wife gives you permission to sleep with her doesn’t mean you can confer that permission to a friend of yours. Just because we consented to let Congress do something doesn’t mean that they can confer that privilege to someone else.

See You On Sugarcandy Mountain

I wasn’t quite of voting age when Al Gore lost the 2000 election to George W. Bush. Actually, I was barely even a teenager, but that also made it my first “real” election. In 1996, I would have been too young to have any concern or interest in paying attention to what the adults were talking about, but around 2000 I was at least watching the news. What an introduction to American politics–an election that seemed to just drag on and on, with everything down to a single state and a relatively thin vote margin.

That’s nothing like what we have today.

I don’t recall any attempts to force recounts in 2004, 2008, or 2012, though I do remember the secession petitions that came online almost as soon as they were made possible by the Obama Administration. I also recall the Obama Administration’s sickening response to the petitions–that the founders intended the union to be perpetual, as though what dead people wanted when they decided things two hundred years ago must dictate our lives today. This was actually the moment when I realized how stalled our “liberty education” was.

Of course, prior to that, all I’d heard was that we lived in a democracy, and my high school civics class didn’t even come close to approaching anything important. We went over all of U.S. history–laboriously and methodically, as we had a teacher who calculated five pages of reading per day, no excuses, so that the entire book was covered through the year–and we glazed over the system of governance: it was something about federalism, something about checks and balances, something about a republic, and something about democracy.

What did it all mean?

Nothing.

They were just empty words, far removed from anything relating to our daily lives and personal experiences. We were, of course, not brought up in anything that resembled a democracy or a republic; in our actual lives there was no Constitution, and certainly no checks and balances. We were carted from one tyrant who was judge, jury, and executioner, to another, and told all the while that all of this was taking place in some glorious system where our rights were respected. Well, not yet, but one day–once we turned 18! Then our rights would be respected!

Except it wasn’t really that simple. It wasn’t just “turning 18.” You had to both turn 18 and leave high school, one way or another, and move out. For me, “turning 18” was the last of those three gates through which I stepped, thanks almost entirely to the tyrannical behavior of both my parent/legal guardian and the school. We don’t like to think about it, but we have terribly warped ideas about children and rights here in the United States, almost to the extent that children are considered the property of their parents.

In fact, it’s not really that unusual that a parent tries to do some wicked, evil thing to their child as they shriek, “It’s my daughter, I can do what I want!” This link is certainly an extreme example, but it’s still just taken as a given that a parent hitting their child is “totally different.” How about this man who boxed his son to teach him a lesson? How about this woman who caused her child probably a fair bit of actual trauma by threatening to kick him out for voting for Trump in a mock election at school? Now she claims it was a joke, of course, but if you’ve seen the video you know that’s bullshit.

One of the central themes of Dancing in Hellfire is that most people aren’t very well equipped to be parents. I’ve seen this far too often, and not just from my own parents. I’ve never met a parent who didn’t say “I put my child’s needs first–that’s all I care about.” Yet in my personal experiences, I’ve never found that to be true. Invariably, what the parent puts first is the emotional itch that the child is scratching for them. I think more consideration should go into people’s thoughts before they choose whether or not to have children, and I think that conscious acceptance that this is the end of your life would do people a lot of good. Because that’s true–once you have a child, your life is over; your dedication must be wholly to your child’s life.

Anyway, that’s not the way we treat children here in the west. We treat children like property. Parents can take away their child’s possessions, invade their privacy, restrict their communication and rights. Parents can assign whatever arbitrary rules they like and inflict virtually any punishments they want. The parent is judge, jury, and executioner, a tyrant who dictates what can and can’t be done, and this is the child’s first lesson in “rights” and “freedom.”

See? I can’t even make a statement like that without people thinking I must be joking. I most certainly am not.

We know that those first ten years are critical in forming a person’s ultimate worldview. Without getting into the Nature versus Nurture argument, American parenting is basically the finest example of a victim going on to become a bully that we would ever need. It should come as no surprise that most people who support spanking were themselves spanked. It’s rather similar to how my grandmother had no choice but to force fundamentalist insanity onto me–she was herself a victim, and she was victimized to the extent that she didn’t know what else to do but pay it forward. ‘Round and ’round we go; the cycle never ends.

Then we’re plucked out of our homes and told that we have to go to this thing called school. This is something I remember very well, and I also wrote about it in Dancing in Hellfire, because I hated school. It made absolutely no sense that I was brought into this world and then–“Oh, hey, by the way, I hope you liked those first five years of fun. Now you have to go to this horrible, boring place seven hours a day almost every single day for the next thirteen years.”

I was given no choice in the matter, but damn did I try to force one, especially after the separation. No one was able to give me a single good reason why I had to go to school, but my mother insisted that I had to. Of course, it didn’t take too long to learn that she had no choice in the matter, either. She wasn’t the one who was forcing me to go to school. Something called “the government” was.

Soon as you’re born, they make you feel small
Giving you no time, instead of it all
Till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all
Working class hero is something to be

They hurt you at home and they hit you at school
They hate you if you’re clever, and they despise the fool
They’re so fucking crazy you can’t follow their rules
Working class hero is something to be

When they tortured and scared you for twenty odd years
Then they expect you to pick a career
But you can’t really function you’re so full of fear
Working class hero is something to be

They keep you doped with religion, your sex, and TV
You think you’re so clever and classless and free
But you’re still fucking peasants as far as I can see
Working class hero is something to be

There’s room at the top, they are telling you still
First you must learn how to smile while you kill
If you wanna be like the folks on top of the hill
Working class hero is something to be

Of course, Lennon was a communist, but… he’s not wrong. That is the way we do things.

And what do we find at school? More arbitrary rules that must be obeyed. And if you are accused of breaking a rule, there is no trial–there is only the teacher, for a small enough infraction, and the principal. Regardless of which you face, they are judge, jury, and executioner. Break the rules during Civics Class for Maximum Irony.

There were plenty of rules that I broke, especially during high school. I had a really bad habit of smoking on campus and speaking out loudly against the new uniform policy. Generally, I was a troublemaker, but there were a handful of teachers who would have defended me as far as they were able, because I was a straight A student. I didn’t do half the crap they accused me of, but it never mattered–a lesson I learned as I sat in In-School Suspension, accused of smoking because some teacher “saw smoke” where we were standing, though the reality was just that it was freaking cold outside. They didn’t find as much as a lighter on me, but it didn’t matter.

“Guilty By Accusation,” proclaimed the kangaroo.

Such a minor and trivial thing, but it doesn’t stop there, does it? No, because a woman was just arrested while waiting on a ride because the cop thought that “she looked like she was soliciting prostitution” and the woman had prior arrests for prostitution. Just as they accused and found me guilty–Double Jeopardy if ever there was such a thing–so did they accuse her and find her guilty. She knew just as I did that it didn’t matter what we said–what I said about smoking or what she said about waiting on a ride.

“Guilty By Accusation,” proclaimed the kangaroo.

So from the time we’re born, we have cognitive dissonance imposed on us. The adults tell us about some magical world far removed from our everyday experience. It is a wondrous place, where the state can’t just do whatever it wants, where trials are fair and seek only justice, and where our rights are respected. It is Sugarcandy Mountain, for all intents and purposes, and our parents and teachers have taken over the role of Moses the Raven. Of course, they offer another Sugarcandy Mountain on top of that, in most cases–no matter how bad this life is and no matter how badly we humans screw up everything by lying to one another about what reality actually is like, it’s okay, because when we die there is another Sugarcandy Mountain waiting on us.

And that’s what it is–we’re constantly waiting for Sugarcandy Mountain. When we’re kids and teenagers, it’s that magical age when we’re out of school and out of our parents’ home, out on Sugarcandy Mountain at last where our rights are finally respected and we’re finally given fair trials by a jury of peers, where “guilty” means more than “stands accused.” And this delusion works–for a while.

It works until you’re arrested in your neighborhood while waiting on a ride.

It works until you’re standing thirty feet away from your car at two in the morning while five police cars swirl around you, searching your vehicle, shining lights in your face, and demanding to know whether you’ve been drinking–even when you haven’t had a drink since like 2014. It works until you’re a homeless schizophrenic man being beaten to death by cops while you beg and cry out for your father to help you. It works until police unload bullets into your back while you flee their psychotic violence and then plant their taser on you. It works until police from 19 states bear down on you and strike you with water cannons in freezing temperatures.

Because we’re not on Sugarcandy Mountain. And as long as we delude ourselves into thinking we are, we will never remove the boots from our necks.

No, Faux Progressives. I’m Sorry, But You Do NOT Understand.

Following Brexit, many Remain advocates wanted to vote again, because so many people hadn’t voted at all–this despite the Brexit vote having the highest turnout in the UK since the 90s. As I pointed out then, those people did vote. They simply voted “Indifferent / Doesn’t Matter To Me.” There’s no other way to slice it; refraining from voting is voting for “it doesn’t make a difference to me.” A second round of voting, then, is nothing more than an attempt to let these people change their votes after the fact, from “indifferent” to “leave” or “remain,” and, they presume, the lion’s share of them would change from “indifferent” to “remain” if they’d known Leave had a chance of winning.

But I’m a believer in consequences and giving things a chance. The Brexit issue is complicated, isn’t it? What if most people would now change their vote from Indifferent to Remain, and the previous vote was nullified. If I love democracy so much*, then wouldn’t I be glad to see that? Yes, and no. See, it’s a matter of bailing out, isn’t it? Brexit took a gamble; I think they should have to bear the responsibility of seeing it through before they change their minds. Isn’t that pig-headedness, though? “Stay the course” and all that?

Kinda, except that, in regard to Brexit, we haven’t even begun to see what consequences it will have. The consequences so far are completely reactionary and are the case of self-fulfilling prophecies. People expecting the UK markets to crash pulled their money out of the UK, which caused the pound to fall, which caused more people to pull money out, which caused the pound to fall further. It’s a self-fulling prophecy all the way, and a simple matter of confidence.

The average person wants nothing more than to get on with their life and be left alone. They don’t want to be told how racist they are because they live in a rural area with a very low minority population and happen to not have any friends who are black. They don’t want to be called racist because their jobs were outsourced to Mexico and India thanks to the Minimum Wage. They don’t want to be called sexist because they are from a world where husbands are somewhat subservient to their wives, and where the wives want to be somewhat subservient to their husbands. The wives don’t want to be called “female misogynists”** because they love and support their husbands, are housewives, and all that. They don’t want to be told how homophobic they are because they’re grossed out by two dudes kissing, and they don’t want to be told how transphobic they are because they think penises belong in tidy-whities, not panties.

They just want to work, support themselves and their families, and enjoy life in the way that they enjoy life.

Democrats, you lost these people because of the above paragraph. I implore you to stop doing that. They’re not the ones who divided America into “white working class people without college degrees” and a coalition of “blacks, women, LGBTQ people, Muslims, and Hispanics” and then pitted those two sides against each other. You did that. What did you expect to happen? Did you expect they would just let you assault them and their values in perpetuity without ever striking back? You did, and I know you did–you thought they couldn’t fight back. As Trae Crowder said, “This is our world now, and you’re not getting it back.”

*sigh*

And so now, instead of realizing that insults, ignorance, and attacks are not the way you will win these people over, you double down on the offensive, hateful rhetoric, saying that you are not failing to understand these people. But yes… You are. If you are equating fifty percent of the population to this racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, misogynistic straw man that you’ve built up in your echo chamber, then yes, you most certainly have failed to understand.

I will never stop talking about the tragedy in Orlando, when a Muslim terrorist murdered 49 people, and I will never stop talking about the way that mainstream conservatives extended the olive branch to the LGBTQ community. “You’re one of us, an American,” they said. For fuck’s sake, bridges in Little Rock, Arkansas were lit up in the colors of the rainbow. All over the United States, including places deep in the Bible Belt, there was loud outcry and support for the LGBTQ community. And, because one tragedy was just not enough, liberals and the LGBTQ community slapped back the proffered hand of peace and shouted, “No! We are not one of you! You are just as bad! You did the Crusades!” as though an idiot preacher like Steven Anderson saying mean things is actually as bad as murdering almost fifty people.

Recently, Donald Trump was on 60 Minutes, and the host asked him about overturning Roe v. Wade. Trump responded that he would certainly appoint conservative judges, and that the matter of abortion should go back to the states. The host then replied, “But then some women won’t be able to get abortions.”

Trump rightly pointed out, “Yes, they can, but they’ll have to go to another state to do it.”

Conservatives in Mississippi don’t want to ban abortions in California. You get that, right? They think it’s abhorrent, unforgivable, and murder, but they have no desire to govern California. Let the Californians govern California. The conservatives in Kentucky have no desire to outlaw gay marriage in New York. They think it’s weird and gross, but they have no desire to govern New York. Let the New York people govern New York. This is where the Great Divide truly occurs, because liberals are not willing to compromise, as the 60 Minutes interview clearly showed.

That a woman might actually have to drive to another state to get an abortion… is unacceptable to the liberal. They see it as a violation of the woman’s rights. They see it as oppression. The liberal does want the people of California to tell Mississippi that they must allow abortions and gay marriage, but the conservative does not want the people of Mississippi to tell California that they must not allow abortions and gay marriage. This is what is meant by “small government.” The liberal, whose entire worldview is built upon big government being the answer to all of life’s problems, is no longer capable of understanding that.

The liberal doesn’t hear “The woman can still get an abortion. She just has to drive to a different state.”

The liberal hears “The woman is being oppressed, and her right to choose is being thwarted by hillbillies.”

Of course, I’m against all of it. I think this should be a matter between a woman and her doctor, and no one else, but this means that the doctor would have to be allowed to say, “No. I don’t perform abortions. Here’s a pamphlet for adoption agencies.”

And I just lost the liberal again, didn’t I? It sounds great to leave the matter between the woman and her doctor, right up until we allow the doctor to determine what the doctor does and doesn’t do. So what, the doctor doesn’t want to perform abortions? Doesn’t the woman have the right to have an abortion? Doesn’t the doctor have the right to not be enslaved and ordered to do things he doesn’t want to do?

Yesterday, I spoke with someone on Facebook who insisted that the Confederate Flag is a flag of white supremacy. Now, my grandfather owns a store with “Confederate State” in the title. I know these kind of people very well, and I know exactly why they fly the Confederate Flag. When she said that she “guesses” she doesn’t know what the flag means, I suggested that she ask someone who actually flies the flag what it means. Her response?

“No thanks.”

Congratulations, lady, on ensuring that compromise is impossible.

She believes that people who fly the Confederate Flag are white supremacists, and she will not ask them what the flag actually means because they are white supremacists and she doesn’t listen to what white supremacists have to say. It is circular reasoning; it is the reasoning of the echo chamber, of the safe space, as she and the other liberals sit in their self-imposed isolation chamber telling themselves how racist, homophobic, islamophobic, transphobic, misogynistic, and evil everyone else, and then refusing to listen to what those people have to say because they don’t listen to racist, homophobic, islamophobic, transphobic, misogynistic, and evil people.

Just read this article. It equates to “I understand them perfectly. They’re racist, homophobic, islamophobic, transphobic, misogynistic evil hillbillies carrying a gun in one hand and a Bible in the other.” So I want to address that article’s author quickly, since I’m sure they’ll be notified I linked to their blog.

Look, asshole. I’m from Mississippi. I’m a transgender atheist born and raised in Mississippi, surrounded by fundamentalist Christians in a way that you can’t understand, regardless of where you’re from. My family has actual compounds for when the Antichrist takes over, okay? I have spent more than my fair share of time criticizing them and trying to reason with them. And you don’t know what you’re talking about.

It is not racist to not have any black friends, although I would point out that the people in the south are substantially less racist than the people everywhere else. Look, the town I live in is 70% black. And when I went to Vegas in 2015, I encountered tons of people who assumed that I was racist because I’m white and from Mississippi. That’s absurd! We can’t be racist. You, in Michigan, with your 2% black population–you have no idea what it’s like to actually live among high concentrations of non-white people. You’re not afforded the luxury of racism in such an environment. If I didn’t want a black cashier, a black dude at the gas station, a black woman doing my taxes, or whatever else, then I wouldn’t be able to get anything done.

It is not racist to recognize that there are some pretty big cultural differences between white people and black people. I’ve dated black girls. Hell, I lived with a black couple when I was 18. I can tell you from firsthand experience that there are major cultural differences, but none that can’t be bridged. I can tell you this, too–I’ve never had my ass kicked in dominoes/bones like that, or Spades. This is a statement of fact: the black people with whom I’ve played dominoes and spades would crush any of the white people I’ve ever played with; they take it to an entirely new level. It’s like checkers and chess, really.

Every Thanksgiving–prior to when my family stopped inviting me because I’m transgender–my family, after eating, plays Spades. We’ve never played dominoes, but we’ve played a ton of poker and Spades. And my dad may be the only one who could even compete with any of the black people I’ve ever played with, and I’ve no doubt that my father would ultimately lose. I was playing checkers while they played chess. Is that racist of me to say? Probably, but it’s more a matter of culture than anything, and I don’t care if it’s considered racist or not; it’s my experience and a statement of fact regarding my experience. As I’ve said elsewhere, we can’t let ourselves get into the mindset of calling facts racist.

I have nothing in my heart but love for everyone. I don’t care what the hell their skin color is, or how different their culture is from mine. If I can bridge the gap, then I’m going to. If I can’t, then… that sucks, but that’s life sometimes. I would ask the liberal how many black friends they have. I’m being honest here. I have many liberal friends on Facebook, and, to my knowledge, they don’t have any black friends. The only black dude some of them know is one they’ve all nicknamed “Nigger Dave.” No, I’m not kidding. And these people are as far north as you can get without crossing into Canada. And they’re millennials. And they’re liberal.

For years, the singer in my rock band was a black lesbian. Did I ever care? No. Why would I? She remains the best singer I have ever heard, a truly talented musician who should indisputably be on the radio.

I don’t give a shit what her skin color is, what her sexual orientation is, or anything else. She’s my friend, and she’s fucking amazing.

I can’t say that this is true of every Mississippian, and goodness knows I have no idea what it’s like to be black–or anything but “me,” actually–

–and I’d certainly never suggest she’s never experienced racism in Mississippi, or homophobia in Mississippi. I have absolutely no doubt that she has, and that’s fucked up. My point is that, per capita, far less racism goes on in the south simply because of pragmatism.

It is not homophobic to be grossed out by gay people and to not want to be friends with them. It is not transphobic to not want to associate what what you consider to be a guy wearing girls’ clothes. It is not transphobic to think of a transgender person as a guy wearing girls’ clothes. People have different worldviews. You have to tolerate them. As long as they’re not forcing people to bow to their worldviews, tolerate them. Is it messed up? Sure, so don’t be friends with them. That’s where your rights end.

There are millions and millions of us who just don’t care. And that’s okay! I know the liberal response to that–I’ve addressed it before. You’re not allowed to be neutral on LGBT issues. If you’re straight and you’re pro-LGBT, then you’re an Ally. If you’re straight and not pro-LGBT, then you’re homophobic. Neutrality is no longer acceptable to the left. Compromise is no longer acceptable to the left.

Allowing conservatives to ban abortion in some states, thereby forcing women to have to go through all the trouble of driving to a different state*^ is not acceptable to the liberal, because all they can do is think of that straw woman who can somehow afford an abortion but not the gas to drive to it. But that gets into its own problem, doesn’t it? They don’t think the woman should have to pay for the abortion; they think the doctor should be their slave, not getting paid and not getting a choice about the work he/she does.

You have the right to FREEDOM not FREESTUFF.

You have the right to FREEDOM not FREESTUFF.

Conservatives don’t want to take your birth control pills away. They just don’t want to pay for them, just like you don’t want to pay for the Westboro Baptist Church. They don’t want to take your abortions away. They just don’t want to pay for them.

Governmentally, Donald Trump’s presidency is bad. There is nothing about Trump’s policies for me to really get behind. However, every indication that I’ve seen suggests that Trump is going to spend most of his time attempting to bridge the gap between conservatives and liberals. He is, after all, a deal maker–much adieu has been made about his ability to make deals.

The problem, as I see it, is that liberals aren’t willing to compromise, and so there can be no deal. And even if Trump does manage to miraculously work out a compromise where liberal states get to be liberal while conservative states get to be conservative, without a pervasive ideologically awakening to the ideas of self-governance and liberty, I don’t see it lasting beyond the next president, because as soon as liberals are back in power they will start forcing Mississippi to allow gay marriage and abortions all over again, taking us right back to where we are now.

It all starts with compromise, and compromise starts with understanding, tolerance, and empathy. But evidently it’s not enough that they lost the House of Representatives, the Senate, the Supreme Court, the White House, 900 federal positions, and lots of governorships because of their unwillingness to tolerate and their unwillingness to compromise.

I’ve spoke before about how the people advocating that Mississippi employers and clients should be forced to accept me as transgender aren’t doing me any favors, because their dislike will have resentment piled on top of it. Their dislike of me will move from the open, where all they can do is shun me, into the shadows, where they can do whatever they can get away with. If you take away someone’s ability to say “I hate you” and condemn that person for saying it, yes, you drive them into the shadows to express their hatred, with resentment and bitterness added to it.

If you want to reach these people, then follow my lead. Your methods won’t work and, in the end, will only get people killed.

You have to reach these people on a personal level, by alleviating their fears and showing them that you are just a human being, just like them. You can’t do that if you treat them like they aren’t a human being worthy of respect and compassion.

Tolerance starts with you, not them.

* I hate democracy. I hate democratic republics, too. They’re the best of a terrible situation. As Churchill said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except all the others that we’ve tried.” He’s exactly right. Democracy sucks, and republics suck. If we are going to have a state, though, it must be a republic.

** “Female misogynists.” You’re really a jerk if you say something like that sincerely. You couldn’t more transparently say that “Everyone who disagrees with me is a misogynist” if you tried. I’m with you in that there is a lot of self-hate here in the United States, but you’re not thinking big enough if you think it’s as simple as women who vote for Trump hate themselves.

*^ This is already necessary in many cases. I had to drive my sister to Little Rock to get an abortion a few years ago, because she had already gone past the point at which Mississippi would allow one. It was not the end of the world.

Should Hillary Be In Prison?

No.

At this point, any attempts by the Republican government to prosecute Hillary Clinton would be spiteful and vicious, driven not by a desire for justice but by a desire to crush a political opponent, and in matters of morality motive is everything. I simply do not believe that Republicans are capable of prosecuting Hillary for noble reasons, and that they have become so partisan that they have confused their own lust for political victory with justice.

Even if we could put together a truly non-partisan panel that would look into Hillary Clinton and prosecute her, and even if this unbiased panel found her guilty of crimes, I don’t think she should be incarcerated. I think that we, as a society, need to get over our lust for punishment, because punishment is counterproductive. I’m about to make the argument that there are two forms of punishment, but for the moment I want to say that–if Hillary was found criminally negligent by this panel and then a jury of peers, the only thing that should be done is bar her from holding political offices in the future. In this scenario, she would have proven that she cannot be trusted with power, and, in the interest of preventing future crimes, we would prevent her from getting power.

The goal of any punishment should be to prevent future crime. In and of itself, there is nothing to be gained by punishing people for past crimes. Leave the past in the past. It is done. It is over, and it cannot be changed by using force, violence, and coercion against someone in vengeance for what they did. Punishing people for past crimes is often the method of prohibiting them from future crimes, but there is a difference.

I asked the question not long ago:

Imagine that we have invented a new miracle medicine that, by receiving just one shot, will cure sexual predators with 100% certainty and leave them totally unwilling to ever commit another sex crime. The drug does not affect their free will or psychological condition; it just makes them not want to do what they did ever again. However, if they are otherwise punished at any point with a jail/prison sentence, then the medicine will not work. If we give them the medicine before or after their prison sentence, it will not work; the only way to cure them is to not punish them. On the other hand, we can continue to punish them with prison, but there is a chance that they will get out of prison and, somewhere down the road, commit more crimes. Which would you advocate? The miracle drug, or prison?

Knowing that it would mean the person would never be punished, it’s my guess that most people would be adamantly against the miracle drug. When we’re faced with the reality that it means Bob raped thirteen kids in nine states and will never be punished for it, I think most people would rather him be punished. Our motive is not really to prevent future crimes; we’re interested primarily in punishing people, with making them pay, with seeking vengeance. “He made thirteen kids suffer, so he should have to suffer, too.”

While I understand completely where they’re coming from, it gets us nowhere in the grand social scheme, and we have to learn forgiveness. We have to learn to forgive people, even those people who we really, really hate. There is hardly ever anything to be gained by punishing people for past transgressions.

However, there is always something to be gained by preventing people from making future transgressions, and that is the point of my hypothetical about the miracle drug. In some ways, this could be a semantic argument; preventing someone from committing future transgressions because they have a history of transgressions and you wan to stop them is, in a manner of speaking, punishing them for their past transgressions. Except it’s not, because it’s focused on the future rather than the past.

The future is far more important than the past.

Except as evidence and showing us how we got here, the past is largely useless. The future, however, is always coming. If we are going to choose between focusing on the past or focusing on the future, then one of them is clearly superior to the other; focusing on the past would be silly. Yet this is what most people would advocate with their punishment systems, because it’s so much more satisfying to get vengeance than it is to protect presently hypothetical victims from future harm. We would be much more satisfied emotionally knowing that Bob is in prison being made into Big Jim’s bitch than we would knowing that we might have prevented Bob from raping another child fifteen years into the future, especially since there’s a possibility that Bob won’t do it anyway because he doesn’t want to have us seek vengeance upon him again.

The past has happened. It is how we got where we are right now, and all of those past moments led to this one. Of course the past is important. It’s critical that we understand where we are, and it’s often necessary to know what happened before to get a grip on what is currently going on. However, the past is also over. It is done, and crying about it is not going to change the present. Nor is punishing someone in the present going to change the past. It will change the present and the future, obviously, and that’s what we need to focus on: the future, not placating our desire to have revenge.

Attempting to exact revenge is an act of force and violence. Throwing Hillary in prison is an act of violence and force, using people with guns to kidnap her and hold her against the will. The same is true for Bob, except we’re putting Bob in a prison where we know that he will be attacked, beaten, tortured, and raped. We cannot claim to be on the side of moral good if we’re advocating these things. If we’re advocating that people should be kidnapped and thrown into caged arenas to be beaten, tortured, raped, attacked, and possibly murdered, we cannot claim to be on the side of justice or good.

Of course we need to prevent future transgressions from being done, and by this point we have every reason to justify doing what we can to prevent them. That is the furthest that morality and justice will take us, though, and anything beyond that pushes us firmly into Immoral Vengeance territory.

Currently, more than 75% of people released from prison end up back there. We cannot make the argument that prison reduces the occurrence of future crimes by any successful measure, especially since it’s likely that some of those 25% of people who don’t end up back in prison did commit further crimes, but weren’t caught. A 1 in 4 success rate is abysmal, and we would not accept it in any other area of our life. What if your vehicle only had a 1 in 4 chance of getting you to work? What if the city bus only had a 1 in 4 chance of getting you to the store? What if your airplane only had a 1 in 4 chance of getting you to Los Angeles? What if your television only had a 1 in 4 chance of turning on? What if your phone only had a 1 in 4 chance of sending a text message? What if Gmail only had a 1 in 4 chance of delivering your email? What if the polio vaccine only had a 1 in 4 chance of preventing polio, if the flu vaccine only had a 1 in 4 chance of preventing the flu, and if the pneumonia vaccine only had a 1 in 4 chance of preventing pneumonia? This failure rate is completely unacceptable.

There are undoubtedly better ways to protect the future.

Clearly, they start with forgiveness.

No, I Will NOT Be Afraid

A lot of people are telling me that I should be afraid.

Actually, let me correct that. A lot of people say that people like me should be afraid, but–in a true victory for trolling–they say this without any awareness that I am one of the people they’re talking about. I have had countless people in the past two days tell me how terrified LGBT people are, and it always makes me grin to tell them, “Hey. I’m transgender. And I’m not afraid.”

It’s rather like watching their ideological train smash straight into a wall.

Actually, it’s exactly like that.

But it’s true. A lot of people are telling me that I should be afraid, because they want to justify their power grab. These people are swept up in baseless hysteria–just as we saw during the clown bullshit–and they have become completely lost in their own delusional fever pitch of panic and frenzied insanity. I tried to be nice about this, but–holy shit–these people are batshit insane. They are completely detached from reality, having spent the past year in their echo chambers–they call them “safe spaces”–telling each other about how evil and horrible Trump was, just perpetuating to one another what they’d heard and working themselves into a frothing madness that no longer bears any resemblance to what you and I would call “the real world.”

They have gone… totally insane.

They invented safe spaces–these places where they could go and not hear things they didn’t want to hear. Considering that among those things they don’t want to hear are “dissenting opinions,” it’s no wonder that they’ve spent years now in echo chambers. When they hear something they don’t like, they shout, “Triggered!” and flee to the comfort of their safe space, where they interact only with other people who were triggered and fled to the safe space, and where they are assured that everyone with whom they discuss politics, reality, and society will, because they’re sharing a safe space, agree.

I mean holy shit. It’s no wonder, as they sat in echo chambers repeating to one another all of their fears, that they went insane. They purposely cut themselves off from everything they didn’t want to hear, and purposely surrounded themselves with people who would reiterate everything they already believed. Anyone who disagreed with them violated their safe space and was thrown out. So henceforth I will no longer use the phrase “safe space.” I will call it what it is: an echo chamber.

in-fucking-sanityJust imagine being a disabled person and taking in information only when it comes from people who side with you ideologically. We already know that this happens. And if you don’t agree with them ideologically, as soon as you speak, they’ll shriek that you’re disabled-phobic and flee to their echo chamber, where they will be surrounded only by people who tell them what they want to hear. It’s a recipe for insanity.

There’s no other word for it. The result is there for anyone who wants to see it. We currently have millions of Americans who truly believe that Donald Trump is either going to utterly destroy their rights or put them in death camps (Really, some think that). They* are insane. And they are saying some of the most hateful, vitriolic, and disgusting things that I’ve ever heard one person say about other human beings. What is the source of their scorn and disgust?

That some people have different values than they do.

Which, of course, obviously means those other people are LITERALLY Hitler.

They’ve relied on their echo chambers for all their information, even though Wikileaks revealed to us that their echo chamber is exactly that. But they didn’t care. “Lies!” they said. “Lies from the Russians!” they claimed, without a bit of evidence to support it, but that didn’t matter. A liberal told them the Russians were doing it, so it was true. And when a liberal told them the FBI investigation was bullshit and Hillary had done nothing criminal, they accepted it as true.

Actually, if we look at it realistically, this is what happened:

Sanders said Hillary was corrupt, may have called her a criminal; I’m not sure. Liberals believed Hillary was corrupt.

Sanders changed his mind and said Hillary was good. Liberals believed Hillary wasn’t corrupt.

Hillary lost, and suddenly Hillary was corrupt again.

If that doesn’t exemplify sheer insanity, then I’m honestly not sure what else can. It couldn’t be clearer unless they wore shirts that said, “We believe whatever we want to believe in any given moment, and you can’t challenge us because we’ll retreat to our Safe Space Echo Chambers where we don’t have to listen to you, you racist Nazi.”

Here’s another example.

Sanders supporters riot at the Nevada Democratic Convention? “It’s not Sanders’s fault.”

Hillary supporters riot after Hillary loses the election? “It’s not Hillary’s fault.”

Trump supporters attack a minority? “OMG TRUMP IS LITERALLY HITLER AND THIS IS HIS FAULT”

Of course, some racist piece of shit people are out there doing fucked up things. But you can’t criticize them for that if you’re being racist yourself. Laci Green, if you’re saying things like “fuck you, white America!” then you don’t really have any ground to stand on when you criticize people for being racist and chanting “White power!” What do you expect them to do when you say “fuck you” to them like that? You can only push people so far.

I condemn racism in all its forms. Don’t read the above paragraph through a partisan lens, or you’ll come to the conclusion that I’m condoning Neo-Nazis.

That’s the world liberals have made–the world of Us and Them. I can’t even tell liberals that they’re being insane without them accusing me of being a Trump supporter. Why is that? Because that’s what they think. If you’re not with them, you’re against them, and “against them” is “Trump supporter.” So if I don’t accede to every batshit crazy thing they say, they will conclude that I must be a Trump supporter.

I will say this. Liberals, it is primarily you that is pushing America to the edge of the cliff. Conservatives certainly are not helping, but surely you must see that you can’t constantly say things like “Middle America is racist” and “fuck you, white America” without them striking back. Surely you can see that things like “fuck you, white America” will piss them off? If you lump them into a group and then attack that group, you should not be surprised when that group hits back. Put it another way. After all the chants of “Black Power!” and “Black Lives Matter!” how can you possibly be surprised that some people would start shouting “White power”?

Yes, Laci. You guys didn’t just let this happen; you made this happen.

Of course I condemn this; it’s not the right way to solve the problem.

We have to turn back from the abyss now.

* I’m obviously not referring to every single liberal. I’m only applying these labels to people who exhibit this behavior. And while my words are harsher than they need to be, it’s rather hard to be kind to people who are being so vitriolic.

My Ballot “Selfie:” Voting For McAfee in Missisippi

Well, I just voted.

mcafee1

You would obviously be correct to observe that this is most certainly not a selfie.

I went to the polling place with the knowledge that there was a fair-to-strong chance that I was going to be arrested. The last time I voted, it was just a single room with 5-7 electronic machines in it, all of them in plain sight of everyone else–though little flaps did ensure that no one could see your screen. There was no privacy. Everyone stood in full view of everyone else, and there was a county sheriff there. I knew if those circumstances were repeated, then I was going to be hassled about it, probably demanded to delete the pic, and promptly arrested when I refused to say that I’d even taken a picture.

In some ways, I was looking forward to that. I had a good defense that probably would have kept me out of handcuffs. If my rant about living in a free country where I can’t take a freaking picture of my ballot didn’t work, then I had one more bombshell to drop that probably would have kept me out of jail: I’m transgender, this is Mississippi, and I doubt very much that anyone in my county is prepared to deal with the headache that arresting me would involve.

mcafee2All that said, I was trying to exercise my right to take a picture of my ballot. I was not trying to get arrested. If there was a good chance of getting the picture without causing problems, then that was always my intention; I just didn’t anticipate being able to ninja my way out of it.

The situation with the voting machines in Mississippi is completely unacceptable.

There is absolutely no record that I even voted–except that I signed a log. There is no evidence that my vote was recorded at all, much less recorded properly. For all I know, it was the equivalent of standing here and pressing a few buttons that do absolutely nothing. How do I know that the machine recorded my vote? I don’t. I have absolutely no way of knowing that. I want to see the source code of these machines.

Moreover, how do I know that the machine didn’t write my vote down as one for Hillary Clinton? Again, I don’t. There is so much darkness here that it’s ridiculous. Not only do I have no way of knowing if my vote was recorded properly, but I have no way of knowing if it was recorded at all. The situation is ripe for abuse. For all we freaking know, they’re programmed to record 67.971728% of votes for Trump, 29.718381% for Hillary, and 2.117284 for other candidates, regardless of what people actually choose. We don’t fucking know, man.

That’s why it’s not a selfie. There was nothing to take a selfie with. Try to take a selfie of you and your dinner cooking on a stovetop, and you’ll understand what I was faced with by taking a “selfie.” There’s just no way to do it with any dignity or elegance, and, even if there was, it’s flagrantly illegal and happening in full view of people who will stop you. I wanted to get a pic of my ballot–I couldn’t have done that if they stopped me.

So I’m sure everyone has some questions.

Q. Why John Mcafee?

Because he’s a libertarian. Next question.

Q. Why not Gary Johnson?

It’s true. I *don’t* want the Libertarian Party to be successful this election. I didn’t want Johnson to hit 15% before the debates, and I don’t want him to hit 5% nationally. I want the Libertarian Party to grow for the RIGHT reasons, and Johnson represents all of the wrong reasons.

Q. Why didn’t you put Darryl W. Perry as your VP?

Because I’m retarded. I was expecting to be asked about the VP separately, and it didn’t occur to me until after I was finished that I didn’t even enter one. Not that it matters. Mississippi will throw my presidential vote in the trash the moment they see it’s a write-in.I do hate that I neglected to put a VP, because I would like to formally show my support for Darryl W. Perry. Complete brain fart–clearly. I mean, I didn’t even put down a VP. Obviously, the whole thing was an oversight.

Q. This isn’t a Ballot Selfie.

And that isn’t a question.

Q. Why isn’t it a ballot selfie?

Mississippi uses voting machines, placing 5-7 of them out against a wall, with no curtain or any other divide separating them. When voting, you are in full sight of about fifty other people, ten of whom work there and are watching you, specifically to ensure you don’t do anything illegal–like taking pics of your ballot. I had to do some ninja shit to get these. Additionally, crouching down and doing a back-bend in order to get my face in the pic would have been both ungraceful and stupid. I welcome you to attempt to do it without looking retarded.

Q. Isn’t this illegal, though?

Yes. And fuck them.

Q. Yeah, but–

I said “fuck the system” twice today. Once with the vote for McAfee, and once with the ballot pictures. Not to mention the “Anyone Else” I wrote in for most elections.

Q. Who the hell is Chase Wilson?

I don’t know, but he had “Libertarian” by his name, so I voted for him. I don’t want a liberty-leaning conservative as President, but liberty-leaning conservatives–whether he is or isn’t a true libertarian–will be fine as one member of 500+ in Congress.

Q. Didn’t John McAfee kill someone?

No.

The government of Belize attempted to extort him, and he–being John McAfee–said “You guys can fucking go to hell.”

Because what else would he say?

Because what else would he say?

John McAfee “killed someone” in pretty much the same way that Julian Assange “is a rapist.” He didn’t, and he’s not.

However… The story is that a neighbor poisoned some of John’s dogs, and that John killed him/ordered him killed (like he’s some kind of Hollywood drug lord)/hired a hitman in retaliation. So let me be 100% upfront and honest about this.

I don’t care if he did.

Look, if a neighbor poisoned my cats, then there isn’t a force in the universe that could protect them from my wrath. Punishing them would be a single-minded devotion, and I would not rest until they had paid the ultimate price for doing it. I don’t see this as a violation of the NAP, because I don’t hold to the bigoted idea that non-human life is inherently worth less than human-life. If someone breaks into your house and kills your wife, in the absence of a state police force, there are very few ways to deal with it than direct retaliation. It’s not as much “punishment” as it is prevention against future attacks, and this person has already attacked you. The idea that it’s not a violation of the NAP if you kill the guy while he’s still in your home and killing your wife, but it is a violation if you kill him two hours later–is nonsense.

If I return home to find someone raping and murdering my wife, grab my 38 and kill them, then it’s not a violation of the NAP. Yet if I return home to find my wife raped and murdered, and I know for a fact who did it, it suddenly is a violation of the NAP to shoot them? So what is the statute of limitations on it? If he hides in the bushes and I see him fleeing across the field, is it a violation of the NAP to shoot him, since he’s already killed my wife? What if I chase him for thirty minutes and finally catch him?

I don’t often touch on the subject, either, but it is bigotry to suggest that non-human lives are not as valuable as human lives, and that it’s wrong to kill a human because they murdered a non-human. So because this living being isn’t the same species as you, its life isn’t worth as much? To really get a handle on how bigoted that statement is, replace the word “species” with the word “race.” So because this living being isn’t the same race as you, its life isn’t worth as much? That’s right–you’re basically a 1944 German arguing that Jewish lives aren’t worth anything, or a 19th century slave owner arguing that a black man’s life isn’t worth nearly as much as a white man’s. It’s the exact same bigotry, only here we direct at at roughly 99% of the rest of the planet. Because they happen to be a few chromosomes away, their lives are not as valuable as ours. It isn’t “okay” to kill a dog or cat, but if someone does kill a dog or cat, that doesn’t make it okay to kill them.

It’s just another flavor of the same ego and arrogance. I don’t advocate killing people who kill your pets, and I’m not a vegan. I’m not even a vegetarian. I do, however, recognize that it is immoral and without justification to eat meat and consume animal products. It simply can’t be justified. I still do it, but I accept that it’s morally wrong. Am I saying that you shouldn’t kill a wasp? Not really. But I know that when a wasp gets into my house, I’ve spent quite a lot of time coaxing them out of the door rather than killing them. I’ve never hesitate to kill a spider, though. Fuck a spider.

Hell, a few weeks ago I spent 45 minutes helping a bumble bee get untangled, and then I took him and carried him to a flower. He was going to die, and nothing could be done to prevent that. His struggling while tangled caused him to break a wing, so there was no way he could fly. I felt like he at least deserved to eat.

It’s nuanced and difficult. As I said, I eat meat, and I have no idea if my makeup was tested on animals or not. I’m pretty sure that the estradiol I take has something to do with horse vaginas, too.

I don’t demand that everyone agree. I’m well aware that most people don’t. Happily enough, I side with Richard Dawkins on the subject–long before I’d heard Dawkins say anything about it. I know it’s morally unjustifiable. And the only reason I continue to do it is that it’s the dominant attitude of the day. It’s too much work and effort to avoid all animal products, especially in Mississippi and especially when you don’t really have the money to waste.

Vegans get really pissed off about this, naturally. Of course, to everyone who supports a cause, their cause is the single most important issue in the universe. I support the cause of liberty, based on the NAP, and yes–there is a contradiction between that and not being a vegan. There are, to piss vegans off further, bigger fish to fry. Most vegans aren’t anarchists or libertarians anyway, so it’s not like they have any ground to stand on, either. The only people who can rightly criticize me for my position is all two vegan anarcho-capitalists out there. If that’s not you, then move along.

If you’re a vegan, then you basically apply the NAP to all non-humans. If you’re an anarchist, then you basically apply the NAP to all humans. If you aren’t both, then you have no ground to criticize anyone for not being both. And here I’m as much a hypocrite as anyone: I’d eat a cow, but I wouldn’t eat a human. It would quite obviously be a violation of the NAP to kill and eat a human; it would also be one to kill and eat a cow. Gotta pick your battles, though. If someone wants to take up every single cause, then they’ll find that they don’t get anything accomplished. You fight your battles; I’ll fight mine.