Tag Archive | twitter

Conversation Control

To a certain extent, we’re all reactionaries, because we react to news as it happens to provide–ideally–insights and perspectives that other people may not have considered. I think that definition, though, is a bit too limited, because many of us are using reactionism as a way of being proactive, contradictory though that seems, because there are underlying ideas that are being spread by the reactive writings. At the same time, many of these “reactionaries” I’m talking about are doing work on the ground that is certainly proactive, aimed at creating the circumstances instead of reacting to changing circumstances. I’m pretty sure this paragraph could be deleted without changing what I’m about to say much, but I’m going to leave it in anyway, because it’s still true: we’re all reactionaries.

That said, there’s one area where are reactionism is hindering us, especially libertarians and anarchists.

If we are to be free, we must stop allowing the government and other institutional authorities to set the agenda, to set the tone of the conversation, and to set the topic of the conversation. Last week–if you can believe it was only a week ago–it was Trump’s tweet about banning transgender and transsexual people* from military service. This week, it’s North Korea and the prospect of nuclear war. It should be interesting to note that both issues received similar levels of reactions: many Facebook posts, articles, and tweets, very little real activism. In fact, it’s just a lot of reactionism. We’re letting the government and other institutions decide what we’re talking about. Instead of advocating libertarian principles, we set aside what we want to discuss so that we can jump on the bandwagon and join the conversation that the government wants us to have. Scratch all the tweets, articles, and Facebook posts about Trump’s proposed ban on transgender/transsexual soldiers, and pencil in statements about North Korea. It seems pretty likely that you’ll find the same people have produced both sets of reactive tweets, with very few exceptions, and that, perhaps, the transgender ban received more attention than the North Korea one. However, the North Korea thing is still young.

How can we ever talk about freedom and the value of liberty if we’re jumping at the state’s beck and call to discuss whatever random issue they have landed on when they spun the Wheel of Reactionary Division? If the government can control what we’re talking about so effectively, there is no reason that it should ever stop doing so, because doing so gives us the breadth that we need to discuss liberty, sound money, non-aggression, rights, peace, and love–and the government doesn’t want that, because liberty, sound money, non-aggression, rights, peace, and love are ideas that can destroy governments.

Imagine that you own a multi-billion dollar company, and you treat your employees like crap, because they can’t work anywhere else–you have a monopoly in the area. Some of these employees are trying very, very hard, however, to form a union that would give them the leverage needed to fight for better standards, if not eliminate the people at the top altogether. How would you handle this? Ignoring morality (since not many of us would be so callous in the first place), would you just sit there and watch them unionize and take some of the power away from you?

Of course not. And one of the most effective weapons at your disposal is Conversation Control. Create scapegoats. Blame a small segment of the workers for the plight that everyone faces. “I know it’s bad,” you might say, “and it’s those migrant workers who are responsible. Being from poor countries, they don’t care if they can’t each afford to pay a car and house note with their wages. So they’re working for less, which drives down everyone’s wages. They’re the ones responsible.” Suddenly the workers are no longer talking about unionizing, because they’ve been divided into two camps: those who defend the migrant workers, and those who fell for the scapegoating. The conversation is no longer about unionizing. It’s about a manufactured enemy.

When that enemy expires, randomly pick another one–bonus points if the new enemy has never been encountered by any worker, and demonstrably poses the workers no threat at all, such as Isis or North Korea. They’ll stop talking about the harm being done to them because you’ve presented them with some imagined harm that is multitudes worse than what they’re already facing. To prevent that from coming to fruition, they’ll stop their talk of unionizing in order to prevent those evil, distant devils from making their situation worse. Once that problem is dealt with, of course–presuming it’s not an indefinite and eternal problem, like “terrorism”–their situation will certainly have gotten worse, and, as an added bonus, they’ll accept the worsened conditions as normal, as “the price we pay for protection from those external enemies.”

We are being manipulated en masse, and it is apparently pretty easily done. The masses are marionettes being made to dance and neglecting the dance that we want and need to perform. This has to stop. We have to begin ignoring the government’s attempts to change the conversation. We have to talk about the things that we want to talk about, not simply react to whatever they want us to discuss. Otherwise, they will always set the agenda, and Liberty will never be on that agenda.

* As a transsexual person, I don’t particularly care for how “transsexual” is being pushed out of the conversation by the same people who enjoy pointing out that gender and sex aren’t the same thing; therefore, “transgender” and “transsexual” aren’t the same thing. For months now, I’ve watched my allies push me and my type out of the conversation because they mistakenly have decided, as I once did, that “transgender” is a more palatable version of “transsexual.”  But that’s incorrect.

By the way, I would ask that you consider sharing and contributing to former libertarian vice presidential candidate Will Coley’s attempt to open an interfaith religious center in western New Hampshire, which you can find by clicking that link. New Hampshire, of course, is the home of the Free State Project, and contains, currently, the highest number of Libertarian state legislators.

A Tweeting President

One of the two primary things I was looking forward to when my young, naive self voted for Obama in 2008, was transparency. It seemed that the Bush Administration operated with a lot of secrecy, and I believe it’s critical, if a free people are to remain free, for the people to know everything the government is up to. I don’t buy into “national defense” secrets, because I can’t imagine anything that would put us in danger if the government revealed it, and if we weren’t running around invading and bombing sovereign nations, then we wouldn’t have enemies. The more we fight, the more enemies we have, and so the more state secrets we need to be safe. The need for secrecy is one the government created by fighting unjust wars, and then used the hostility caused by those unjust wars to justify its need for secrecy.

Obama promised transparency. How easily we forget what “Change we can believe in” was promised to us, but it mostly dealt with the military adventurism. He was given a Nobel Peace Prize as a political ploy (I hope the Nobel people learned their lesson!), because he was supposed to bring peace. Peace wasn’t the only promise, though. The other was transparency, and neither of these promises were kept. They were broken in the most severe way: Obama launched more wars than Bush, and did nothing for transparency. Some misguided younger people think Obama betrayed us by not attacking Wall Street, and that was a problem, but it was never THE issue, even right after the recession.

Today we have a President who tweets directly to the American People. Of course, Twitter probably played a huge role in Trump’s success, and he tweeted frequently while campaigning, often speaking hastily and saying things that were… ill-advised.

A few years ago, I was shocked to find Congressman Justin Amash on Facebook, regularly communicating with the American People, explaining his positions, his votes, and the legislation. I wondered why all elected officials didn’t do it. When you think about it, it seems like it should actually be required, doesn’t it? These people have been elected to govern the country. The least they owe us are explanations for their decisions.

President Trump is the first President in American history to have a YouTube channel. They started it as Transition 2016, or something like that, with the intention of giving information directly to the American People, without the twisting and bias that all media outlets put on the news. I don’t know how that played out, because I haven’t followed it, but regardless it’s a noble effort.

Yes–a noble effort.

Regardless of Trump’s positions and where I stand in relation to him (I stand against him), this is one facet of his presidency that we should be universally cheering and applauding. We have the President of the United States giving us direct insight into his thoughts and policies, his positions, and his reasons for holding those positions.

I’m shocked that some people (in my experience, mostly liberals) think he should stop tweeting. Stop…? You think the President of the United States should stop giving us insight into his actions, policies, and reasons? We need more tweeting, not less.

I’d go further and say that every elected official should be required to make one Facebook post and one Twitter post (alternatively, one personal blog that goes to Twitter and Facebook) for every public policy decision they make. Why?

Because nothing our government does is inconsequential. And if the government does something inconsequential, they should have to explain why they bothered to do it. These are state employees. According to the rules of our republic, they are our employees, and we are owed explanations for their decisions.

If one of my employees made a decision that cost me money or changed how my business operates, I’m owed an explanation. My accountant can’t simply close three of my company credit cards without an explanation, even as I’ve authorized her to make such decisions. I’m owed an explanation regarding things my employees do that have an effect on me.

That doesn’t stop being true just because they work for the government. Every appointed and elected official who makes decisions that affect the American People should be required to communicate what, how, and why. We are owed nothing less.

And here we have the most powerful man in the world who has opted to do it of his own accord, blazing the path for others to follow. The President of the United States has an active Twitter account that he uses to communicate his policies directly to the American People.

That deserves applause, regardless of whether one agrees with the policies he’s espousing.

“Power to the people” surely begins with a President who communicates directly to the people. If you want a government for the people by the people, then the President tweeting is going to be a critical cog in that.

I don’t like Trump. I don’t like the government. I think a government “for the people, by the people” is a conceit and red herring. I want liberty, not a ruler. But we don’t have anarchy. We have a fascist state. And each step toward accountability and transparency are steps in the right direction.

The Death of White Conservatism

Not long after I posted a new podcast about this very subject, Milo Yiannopoulos, the gay conservative editor with Breitbart, was permanently banned from Twitter for hate speech. Milo is well-known as a “troll,” apparently, and I can’t weigh in on that, because I don’t pay any attention to him. He was also a Trump supporter, though I wonder if that’s changed now that Trump selected Pence as his VP, and now that the GOP has made a horrifically anti-LGBT party platform. They enshrined conversion therapy, for fuck’s sake. No one with any sense of human decency should be able to stand with them as they try to promote such an immoral thing. How any LGBT person can maintain any loyalty to the Republican Party after they write Pray the Gay Away into their fucking party platform is beyond me.

http://ariadimezzo.podbean.com/e/rr-ep-27-how-to-fight-regressives-2-incorrect-strategy-number-one/

That podcast specifically addresses three prominent Youtubers who, like Milo, are heading straight toward bans on Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter. I spoke of how they need to choose their words more carefully, mind their Ps and Qs, and make damned sure that they don’t say anything that can possibly be construed as racist, and I’m not going to run over the same old ground. I am, however, going to focus more on why these three are receiving channel strikes, what they’re doing wrong, and why they will all be crushed by these social networks if they don’t drastically alter their methods.

The fact is that wearing a shirt that says “White Male” is racist and sexist.

They are doing this and similar things as a response to Black Pride, Female Pride, Gay Pride, and so on, and they are trying to call attention to the fact that racism exists against white straight men, because one isn’t allowed to have White Pride, Gay Pride, or Straight Pride. They are correct, and I have been talking about that for years. I found TNB not long ago, through comments on an atheism video, and didn’t even realize he had a channel until a few months ago. I’ve only ever seen one of Autopsy87’s videos, and that was when I was hoping to call in some backup on my Liberal Redneck video, and I’ve never seen one of Atheism is Unstoppable’s videos. It may be presumptuous, then, to say what they’re doing wrong, but… trust me, it isn’t. I do see them through Twitter, as TNB shares various things.

These are all great guys, and I’m not talking bad about them. But their methods are entirely incorrect.

You cannot defeat racism with racism. You cannot defeat sexism with sexism. You cannot defeat… sexual orientationism… with sexual orientationism…

Let’s take a moment and operate under the assumption that Black Lives Matter is racist. We can make this assumption because… it is racist. It takes a thing that exists independently of the adjective (lives) and carves out a subset from the whole, and then assigns a value to that subset (that they matter) when the distinguishing factor between that subset and the whole is race (black). That is quite obviously racist.

Furthermore, let’s take a moment and add another assumption to that. Let’s assume that it’s not acceptable to have White Pride, Straight Pride, or Male Pride. We can also make this assumption because it’s not acceptable.

White-Pride--480x480This image on the left makes it indisputably clear that one is not allowed to have White Pride. If one attempts to take pride in being white, then one is called a racist, Neo-Nazi White Supremacist. Why? Having Black Pride doesn’t make someone a Black Supremacist, does it? Does Gay Pride mean that LGBT people hate or want to kill straight people? Of course not. Why, then, do we act as though Straight Pride means they hate gay people or want to kill them? These are obvious double standards, and what is the distinguishing factor between who gets one standard and who gets the other? Why, the distinguishing characteristic is race and sexual orientation. So quite obviously, that black people can have pride but white people can’t is racist; that LGBT people can have pride but straight people can’t is heterophobic*.

So now that we’ve a clearer understanding of the state of affairs in the United States, and we know that racism, sexism, and sexual orientationism** are acceptable in some cases, but whether they are acceptable for you itself depends on your race, sex, and orientation. We also know that it is not in any sense acceptable in society to be racist, sexist, and sexual orientationist (sigh) if you’re a straight white male.

So what do are they expecting to happen when they try to be racist, sexual, and sexual orientation as straight white men? Do they expect people in this environment to go, “Yeah, no, you’re right. If black people can have pride, white people should be allowed to have pride, too”? It’s way too late for that; that straight white male ship set sail two decades ago. They were too silent for too long for that to have any chance of working, for anyone to be reached with such ideas. That battle has been over for too long, and the consequences have been in place for too long; it is too late to start trying to curb them now. That’s done, and over.

Ignoring that reality, standing up, and proclaiming, “I’m a straight white male, and I am proud of that!” in the modern world will only get a person banned. We simply don’t live in a society where that’s acceptable, and “doing it anyway” isn’t going to make it acceptable. It will only see that you face consequences like being banned and having your channels deleted.

Nor can I say sincerely that “It would be great if you could stand up and say that you’re a proud straight white male,” because I don’t think that. As we’ve established, proclaiming that is sexual orientationist, sexist, and racist. It is sexual orientationist, racist, and sexist, just like someone standing up and saying “I am a proud black gay woman!” That someone is saying the latter, and thereby sectioning themselves off into various groups based on race, sexual orientation, and gender, does not justify a response that does the same.

At that point, you simply have two groups: one of “Proud White People” who proclaim that Proud Black People are racist, and one of “Proud Black People” who proclaim that Proud White People are racist. Since we’ve established that the former aren’t allowed to do this anyway, the latter will point this out, saying, “You’re not allowed to do that!”

The white people will respond, “Well, you’re doing it! We should be able to do it, too!”

To think that this is going to end well is, to be frank, delusional. It would ultimately end in a race war, and one that white people couldn’t possibly win, because there are too many white people who agree that black people should be allowed to have pride, but white people shouldn’t be allowed to. But it doesn’t matter who would win the race war anyway; we should not be trying to fight racism with racism.

Fighting fire with fire does not extinguish fire. It only sweeps the world in immolation.

Nor does racism end racism. It only extends it.

Yes, Black Lives Matter is racist. So is a t-shirt that says “White Male.” If you are arguing against BLM on the grounds that it is racist while wearing such a shirt, then you simply do not have any moral highground, and you are–I must use the appropriate word here–a hypocrite. I don’t like saying that because I respect these people and what they are trying to do in fighting against the regressive mindset that has glorified racism, sexism, and sexual orientationism for decades. However, as I said before: I will call it hypocrisy wherever I find it.

The reality is that Black Lives Matter isn’t the problem. Divisiveness is the problem. People being sectioned off into various groups, where this group can do this and that but the other group can’t, is the problem. Racism is merely one manifestation of that divisiveness problem. Sexism is another, and sexual orientationism is another. Black Lives Matter is, itself, merely one manifestation of the racist manifestation of the divisiveness that liberals have been encouraging and causing for decades.

In other words, Black Lives Matter is a symptom, but it is not the disease.

If you want to fight regressives, then you have to address the disease, not just its symptoms. Yes, the symptoms should be addressed as well, but we must not lose sight of the disease itself. You cannot fight the symptom of divisiveness that is racism… with racism. You cannot fight the symptom of divisiveness that is sexism… with sexism. You cannot fight the symptom of divisiveness that is sexual orientationism… with sexual orientationism.

If you want to fight regressives, then I would suspect that you want to hang around long enough to do so, right? Well, then it’s time to face reality. If you continue on as you are doing, then you will be removed from the battle as a racist, sexist, and/or sexual orientationist. How many people will you be able to reach, to spread your message, if your Youtube channels are deleted?

I must ask: How do you hope to solve the problem of people being separated into various groups based on irrelevant and inconsequential characteristics by separating people into various groups based on irrelevant and inconsequential characteristics?

* To borrow the left’s habit of taking every fucking thing and slapping -phobic at the end of it.

** I did this initially as a joke, but I don’t know how else to characterize it.

Google, Facebook, and Twitter: Sued For Aiding the Enemy

According to various news sources, Internet giants Google, Facebook, and Twitter are being sued for providing material aid to the enemy (ISIS/ISIL/DAESH) by the father of one of the students killed in the Paris attack. And you know what?

That’s such a goddamn good point. I honestly can’t believe that I didn’t think about it before, but not only should they be sued–they should be brought up on charges of treason. Never mind hiring I.T. experts, as Trump suggests, to seal DAESH off the internet–it’s Google’s responsibility to close themselves off to DAESH.

Let’s look at this from the perspective of any other company.

DAESH calls me to request my help removing a virus from their computers. Yeah, exactly. It’s obviously, clearly, and blatantly providing aid to the enemy for me to help them. No one would dispute or challenge that. Not only should these companies be sued; they should be brought up on charges of treason. The only escape is that they might not have realized the tweets, searches, and posts came from DAESH, but it’s silly to think that these companies who make their money by monitoring users and studying their behavior couldn’t put two and two together. They obviously could have. They simply didn’t.

Considering that it’s been common knowledge for a while that all these places are being used (alongside Instagram and many others) by radical Muslims to convert and raise funds. While I’m sure these companies have attempted to curtail it, they certainly haven’t done enough to make their services unavailable to those who would utilize them to murder, and it’s indisputably their responsibility to do that, just as it would be my responsibility to tell them “No” if they called me about a virus.

In an age where ransomware writers code their programs to specifically avoid targeting given countries, it’s absurd to think that these enormous conglomerates that dominate the internet can’t do the same, but locking out DAESH instead. If their systems are too open, insecure, and homogenized for them to do that (which certainly isn’t true), then their systems need to be overhauled immediately.

There’s really no excuse that will hold water.

Except one technicality.

Congress has never declared war.

It is fucking ridiculous that what will allow these companies to continue serving people who are clearly our enemies… is a goddamn technicality. This is why it’s a lawsuit that’s been brought against them, and not criminal charges. Isn’t that amazing? Think about it for a moment. Our government has not recognized DAESH as the enemy, and they didn’t recognize Al Queda, either. Hell, we didn’t even declare war on Iraq.

What a joke. What an absolute disgrace.

Now the refusal to declare war makes sense. It’s not treason to trade with them if there’s no declaration of war. I guess they learned from that mistake during World War 2, when the Bush family lost a fair bit of gold they’d acquired from trading with the Nazis. “Problem solved!” they realized around the Vietnam era. “Just don’t ever declare war! Then we can fight perpetually AND lengthen the war by helping them! It’s win-win! And it only costs a few thousand lives every once in a while.”

There’s no excuse for this world we have created, and fixing this mess starts with personal responsibility. Whether you’re the CEO of Google or just an individual, you are responsible for you and the consequences of your actions. The standard defense against this will be something along the lines of “What do you want them to do? Monitor who is using their Search?”

Um… They already are.

Google is extraordinarily powerful, and they have only become more powerful in the past few years. Think about it. When you need to look something up, you google it. Fuck. That’s a level of power that is terrifying. If they wanted to influence search results, they could wield untold levels of power over the world. And there is some evidence to suggest that Google is doing exactly that. http://www.digitaltrends.com/web/google-autocomplete/

It’s hard to really explain how many trillions of dollars have gone into subtly manipulating human beings through advertising and calculated titles. This is a mistake I frequently make. Think about it. Which video would you watch?

The Most Important Message You’ll EVER Hear

or…

Transgender Mississippian to LGBT Community: Change the World.

Almost everyone would click on the first one, and almost no one would click on the second. However, I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to play the game that way. I absolutely could justify naming my video “The Most Important Thing I’ve Ever Said,” because I do believe that is true of the video in question:

But “The Most Important Message You’ll Ever Hear” comes dangerously close to clickbait territory, even if I think it could be true. Seriously, that video is important, and if liberals and LGBT people would listen to it and apply it, we just might be able to put Christian “homophobia” behind us forever. The opportunity is right there. Right in front of our faces. They’re trying to rally beside us.

It broke my heart to see this response to my message:

too-little-too-lateReally, you piece of shit? You’re going to knowingly continue antagonizing Christians, and preventing them from standing beside LGBT people, and therefore continue making life extremely difficult for LGBT people in Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Georgie, and Tennessee, because you want to hold a grudge? Jesus, fuck you, man. I replied to that with:

No… No, it’s not. The lIves and peace of mind of lgbt people in Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Georgia, and Tennessee are impacted by this in ways I can’t even begin to explain. If people who aren’t similarly affected would just get out of the way, learn to forgive instead of holding grudges, we might just be able to coexist.

No, I’m not being naive to suggest that our problems could vanish overnight. I’ve seen it before; we’ve all seen it before. The exact same thing happened after 9/11, when all of America came together. Religion, gender, and race were all pushed aside. None of it mattered. You were simply an American first, and we stood together, side by side. We have that opportunity right now to stand together with sexual orientation and sexual identity being the things that no longer matter. This is overwhelming. And it happened overnight.

Did the post-9/11 unity last? No. And I know that there’s no guarantee that this one would last. However, this one could start. And, to be totally honest, I’ll gladly take 2 or 3 years of unity and acceptance by the people who literally surround me everywhere I go. Having people in Oklahoma, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and other states standing in the way of this unity because they want to hold a grudge… it’s despicable. Fuck you people so much for this, and I will probably never forgive you if you don’t get out of the way, stop being divisive, and let us come together. Sure, there are Christians everywhere. But this is the Bible Belt. We have an entirely different kind of Christian here.

Evolution isn’t even taught in our schools. Did you know that? I never learned a word of evolution from elementary to the end of my high school career. We don’t have Sex Ed here. We have Abstinence Education here. The sex ed pamphlets that kids get are blatant fear-mongering bullshit about STDs and death. I’ve written about them before, but it was more than half a decade ago. They were disgusting in their Christianity, though. This is the place where all that shit is concentrated. We have more churches per square mile than we do gas stations, convenient stores, and restaurants. This place is called the Bible Belt for a reason. There are at least a dozen churches within a mile of where I live, and that’s no exaggeration. I remember driving to work years ago when I lived with my sister, and I counted all the churches that I passed directly. I didn’t count the ones on adjacent streets–only the ones on streets I was on. On a 22 mile trip, there were 39 churches.

Some of us have to live here and try to coexist with these people, you inconsiderate dickbags.

Respect that.

Can you even comprehend a concentration like that?

File:Church or synagogue attendance by state GFDL.svg

That is a map of church attendance by state. You see that dark green place there, in the middle of the set of three dark green places? That’s Mississippi. We’re second only to Utah (which has a much lower population that is largely Mormon) as far as people who attend church every week, at 47%. HALF of all Mississippians attend church every single week.

religion.png

This one’s kinda complex, so here’s the key:

key

More than 50% of our population is one single denomination of Christianity: Baptist. When you mix in the Methodists, we’re approaching at least 70%. And by the time you’ve added in the Presbyterians, Pentecostals, Church of God/Church of Christ, etc., we’re getting pretty close to 95%. And in case you hadn’t connected the dots, what we’re talking about, of course… are Southern Baptists. The only real misconception people have about southern Baptists is that they do, in fact, support religious liberty for everyone, but they do also believe that Christianity should be the default, instead of secularism being the default. Basically, they think that Protestant Christianity should be the state religion, but that people should be allowed to follow other religions. Yeah, they’re a mess of problems.

It sucks hairy goat balls here, dude.

The very least people in the U.S. who are not surrounded by southern Baptists is stop antagonizing the people who do surround us and who, for the first time in American history, want to stand beside us.

How did I get onto this subject again?