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Better than this

If we weren't better than this, this wouldn't bother so many people.
— NeoWayland
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Two and only two alternatives

When someone starts offering two and only two alternatives, that's the cue to look for the fourth, fifth, and sixth choices.
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Measure

Measure a man in the lives he touched.
— NeoWayland
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NeoNote — Not right or left

Rather than citing examples of "rightness" being a mental illness, I think I will just cite the old idiom Moderation in all things.

I will say that from my perspective it's not "right" or "left" that is wrong per se, but the desire to control others while avoiding the consequences of your own actions. The reasons and the justifications change, not the actions.



Just where do you think the "left" learned the self-righteous, sanctimonious posturing?

Frankly, I don't care who did it first, second, or most recently. Or what the scoreboard says.

You're playing the game, perpetuating the problem. And I have absolutely no assurance that if "your guys" win, my life will be better. Just your promises, which are worth exactly nothing based on past experience.

After all, you've just admitted that you can't stand dissent and disagreement.



If I've no investment in the ideology and your side "breaks the rules" to suppress dissent, then there is no benefit for me to support "the system" no matter which side "wins."

I'd be better off bringing down the whole mess and helping people pick up the pieces afterwards.

That's the stakes you're playing for. Not if your side wins, but if there will be a game left to play, or even if there will be recognizable sides.

So thought experiments aside, are you willing to play with these stakes?



The rules of the game mean you can't win. Neither can they. Oh, each side trades advantage with the other, but the conflict goes on and feeds on itself.

That's not being heroic, that's being damn stupid. What good does it do to protect the widows and orphans when there is no safe place to go?



Of course there are rules of the game, number one being winner take all. Number two being that the "truth" of the argument is determined by the winner of the conflict. Number three is that winning the conflict grants the power to silence dissent. Number four is that the conflict is far too important to allow ordinary people to ask questions.

This isn't Darwin, this isn't the nature of man, this is an artificial construct.

Should I go on?

I never claimed that I didn't answer. I implied you were asking the wrong questions. When anyone reduces things to an either/or premise, that is usually the case.



There you go again, assuming the only response is either/or.

You think winning is the answer.

I want to remove the possibility of either side winning and starting the conflict all over again.

Because after you win, after you put down your sword and gun, after you take a deep breath on the field of battle, I and those like me will be there.

Pointing at you.

Laughing.

And you won't be able to touch us.

Sometimes you don't have to win. Sometimes it's enough to keep the other guys from crossing the finish line and claiming their bloodstained glory.



If you think the socialists winning means that the President, Congress, and the courts have unrestrained power, then you already lost.

And they have exactly as much power over you as you choose to give them.



Either/or is a self-imposed trap. It presupposes that there are two and only two alternatives.

The greatest single expansion of the Deep State was signed into law by a Republican.



Would it help you understand my point if I (truthfully) told you that since a month or two after the handoff, I've said that Hong Kong will be remembered in history as the City That Ate A Country?



It's not a matter of free market DNA. It's the fact that Hong Kong has the most capitalist and competitive society on the face of the planet.

I agree we're talking at cross purposes. You see it as all wrapped up and I see a Gordian knot. In the case of Hong Kong, a free Hong Kong has a greater value than the Chinese military.

But for now, let's agree that we do disagree and move on.



And that is when you change the game.



Did you accept the rule set before you started playing?



Well, that is a interesting philosophical premise.

I'd agree that for most purposes, there appears to be an objective reality. From my purely subjective perspective of course. But pursuing that goes way beyond our conversation here.

Are the units autonomous? Well, that's another philosophical bit. For example, is the planet aware? Restricting our conversation to humans, are humans autonomous? I'd have to say that most individuals are not. No matter what the politics.

Are humans and specifically "leftists" dangerous? They can be, and mostly want to be. Are they more dangerous than "rightists?"

No.

As I said political orientation isn't the problem. Politics is.



I prefer Nolan's chart to the right-left dichotomy.

Politics is controlling the other.

I've spent a lifetime dealing with those who want to control others. Some do in the name of environmentalism, some do in the name of Divine moral authority, some do it for the "greater good." The justification changes, but the methods don't.



One of my biggest frustrations in today's politics is that people overlook what "their" side does even as they denounce the "other" side for doing the exact same thing.

We've reached the point where what is done is not nearly as important as who did it.

Meanwhile liberty takes a hit.



*shrugs*

My problem here is once you've won, then what? Especially if in victory you claim power and authority that you never should have had.

Earlier you told me that if the socialists won in 2020, I'll personally lose. My response was to point out that if the EEEEEVVVIIILLLL forces of government already had power to screw me on some technocrat's or politico's whim, then there is no point in me supporting your side because freedom is already gone.

Sure, you promise to fix it, you promise to Do The Right Thing, and I should believe that why?

The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.
— H.L. Mencken



Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan between them escalated the "War On Drugs" and enabled the narco-state. Mandatory minimum sentences were made possible by the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984. Wide scale civil forfeiture including sharing funds and proceeds with local police agencies was made legal by the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984. The 1208 program and the militarization of local police dates to 1990, although it was changed to the 1033 program and was expanded in 1996. The USA PATRIOT Act was signed into law by Bush League.

This is only a small portion of things that have happened on a Federal level.

I ask for nothing except the freedom to live my life as I choose while accepting responsibility for my choices.

Who is the "right" to deny me those things?



I'm going to point out again that you're willing to overlook the abuses of "your guys" while going after the "other guys."

I want less government than absolutely necessary. What I see is a long history of Republicans and conservatives who want to expand government, regulation, and spending. The Deep State owes just as much to Republicans than to Democrats.

I don't care who is "in charge." I don't care who is to blame.

I want less government than absolutely necessary.



I gave specific examples of Republicans abusing power in ways that rival anything that Democrats have done or will do.

You are stuck on the label when you should be looking at the institution.



“Nothing R's have done in your lifetime can compare to the damage of the D's.”

Watergate.

Ford's pardoning of Nixon.

Ford's "Hail Mary" pass to save the CIA and his nomination of George H.W. Bush to director. Since it was before my birth, we'll ignore the rumors about Bush's CIA related activities between 1959 and 1964. Also before my time but I'm doing extra credit, the question remains why Bush was pretty much the one American in his generation who could not "remember" where he was on November 22, 1963.

Iran-Contra.

Changing of banking laws and regulations during the early 1980s, leading to the savings and loan crisis, the eradication of regional banks, and the consolidation of American banks and investment firms into selected giants.

The USA PATRIOT Act, literally the climax of decades old Deep State wet dreams. Start with Inslaw and PROMIS, look at the Danny Casolaro murder, and then look at what has happened the last twenty years.

I could go on and on. I haven't even touched on what happened with the Contract With America, or how the leaders of both major parties colluded and conspired against the Tea Party.

The vice or virtue is not in the label. Democrats and the left are not especially evil. Republicans and conservatives don't get a free pass because they are doing the wrong thing for the "right" reasons.

I wanted to make this about government, the abuse of power and politics in general. You were the one making the case that Democrats and the left were irredeemably evil while Republicans and conservatives were mostly good.



First, stop blaming "leftists" for the evils of government.

Second, accept that the label Republican, conservative, or "rightist" doesn't make you saints or even the best qualified.

When you've done that, I'm ready to talk about the next bit.



I gave you examples, including Republicans who actively broke the law.

As for Republicans being the lesser evil, is there a one of them since Eisenhower who did anything other than go through the motions?



Start by admitting it is a government problem and not a Republican or Democrat situation.

Stop making excuses because some of your interests happen to line up at the time.

Until you do that, you're not ready to have this conversation.



You're treating a premise as an Article of Faith Not To Be Questioned.

As long as you hold onto that, you won't believe what I say or accept any solution that I propose. Because under that premise, it's absolute nonsense and can't possibly be anything else.

Or the premise is invalid.



That is not true.

There has to be a commonality to build on, especially for deeply held beliefs.

For example, I don't think humans need to be saved. So talking to me about a guy nailed to a cross isn't really going to resonate. Likewise, unless you accept anthropogenic climate change, the notion of a climate crisis won't make sense.

As for giving my views and the solutions, I have.



“There has to be rationality.”

Since when? Empires have risen and fallen without rationality. Trade agreements have been negotiated without rationality. Probably fewer than ten percent of Americans living right now are rational by any definition except they obey the rules they've been given.

Just to point it out again, I have stated the problem and the solution repeatedly. You reject the premise and therefore don't believe me. Government is the problem, even if it is a "friendly" government controlled by people you like. As long as you look to government for solutions, you make the problem worse.

Case in point, you've mentioned several times that we need to remove the left ideology from public schools and universities. Our public school system was created in part so that government could control what was taught. Did it never occur to you that as long as schools were publicly funded and government controlled, you can never remove the ideas that you don't like? Rather than taking control of schools and universities, maybe the answer is let the schools compete in a free market. The schools that can deliver value will thrive, the others won't. It's worked for everything from rye flour to smartphones, there is no reason to think it wouldn't work incredibly well for schools.



I haven't said anything about moral equivalence.

I just don't think that we should trust politicos to store and transport nuclear sludge in Hefty bags.

Don't tell me about the "virtues" of Republicans. Tell me why, despite their claimed support of smaller government, they haven't done anything substantial since JFK.

And he was a Democrat.



You've been telling me how virtuous the Republicans are. I'm telling you that based on their behavior, they aren't. There's less than a handful of effective Republican politicos on a national level who demonstrate honor and character. It's not because they are Republicans, it's because they have honor and character.

I gave you specific, catastrophic, and freedom destroying examples of highly placed Republicans turning government against the people. Some were felonies, and some weren't felonies only because no one had enacted laws against them yet.

I have offered solutions, you just don't like what I offered since it doesn't give conservatives legal and "moral" advantages that can be exploited against "leftists" because they are leftists.

“Just as we don't want other ideals imposed on us, we shouldn't impose our ideals on others. No matter how convinced we are that we are right.”

“The only thing they are really giving up is the power to compel behavior in others.”

You can't depend on government to do it for you.



Before Trump, who was doing it?

After Trump, who will continue doing it?

And that is assuming that Trump is a net benefit, something I do not believe.

All I've said is that Republicans aren't saints or "the better choice" because they are Republicans. The evidence supports my claims.

You've said that Democrats are more inherently more evil than Republicans. The evidence doesn't support your claims.

Show me people of honor and character and I will consider supporting them.

Show me Republicans and I will insist on honor and character. Show me Democrats and I will insist on honor and character. The label doesn't get a pass.

A man is measured in the lives he touched.



BTW, mandatory minimums, civil forfeiture of property without criminal convictions, and the militarization of police are hardly minor, superficial issues.



Your entire argument boils down to government is worse with Democrats in charge.

My argument is that government threatens liberty and rights no matter who is "calling the shots."

I gave you specific examples during Republican presidencies that have led to massive abuse of power.

I am not saying that Republicans are as bad as Democrats. I am saying that government is bad and it's time we reduced it's power and scope.

Otherwise we're fighting over who gets to be in charge with no evidence that Republicans are better or Democrats are better.



As long as we have government, let's make it too small to screw up our lives.

We have conditioned generations to believe that government is all wise and mostly benevolent. That government is the first, best, and last solution. That any problem can be fixed with more money and government expertise.

Provided no one asks inconvenient questions.

Me, I think government is radioactive and corrosive. I think it is occasionally useful in extreme circumstances but only if it is behind thirteen layers of protection. I think the risks of invoking government outweigh the benefits by several orders of magnitude.

And I do not trust anyone to use it wisely.

As far as the criminal abuse of the alphabet agencies, why do you think it began with Obama against Trump?
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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Windows into men's souls

I have no desire to make windows into men's souls.
— Elizabeth I

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NeoNote — Gun checks

A terrifyingly surprising number of police officers also have "incidents of domestic abuse in their background." Not most to be sure, but the field seems to draw some really f…ed up people. Worse, police are legally shielded from the consequences of their own actions.

If the current "red flag law" proposals are any indication, almost all the criteria will certainly be political. Considering that most people including psychiatrists and psychologists are incapable of judging competence, motives, or morality without some intense analysis, that is asking for trouble.

Here's what you do not want to acknowledge. Most people are not criminal. Most gun owners don't casually shoot other people or property. And there is not a single background check that will prevent every possible mass shooter.

Now I could go on and on. I could point out that American gun laws originated to keep guns out of the hands of "blacks". I could list the puppycide incidents. I could point out the militarization of police, especially in the "War on Drugs." All of this overlooks one very simple thing. The Second Amendment exists because the Founders did not trust government.

All your suggestions, all your proposals, everything you've said will arm more government agents while making the populace unarmed. Tell me, do you want Trump's government heavily armed while you are not?
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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The question changes

If government is not a net benefit, then the question “What can government do?” changes to “How do we limit costs?”
— NeoWayland, liberty question
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Biochar

Biochar: A better start to rain forest restoration

An indigenous farming technique that’s been around for thousands of years provides the basis for restoring rain forests stripped clear of trees by gold mining and other threats.

A carbon-based soil amendment called biochar is a cheap and effective way to support tree seedling survival during reforestation efforts in the Amazon rain forest, according to new research from Wake Forest University’s Center for Amazonian Scientific Innovation (CINCIA).

Restoring and recovering rain forests has become increasingly important for combatting climate change, since these wide swaths of trees can absorb billions of tons of carbon dioxide each year. The problem is particularly acute in areas mined for alluvial gold deposits, which devastate not only rain forest trees but also soils. High costs can be a huge barrier to replanting, fertilizing and nurturing trees to replace those lost in the rain forest.

The scientists found that using biochar combined with fertilizer significantly improved height and diameter growth of tree seedlings while also increasing the number of leaves the seedlings developed. The experiment, based in a Peruvian Amazon region called Madre de Dios, the heart of illegal gold mining trade in that country, used two tropical tree species: the fast-growing Guazuma crinita and Terminalia amazonia, a late successional tree often used as timber.
     — Alicia Roberts
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Government makes you poorer

If we're going to have a conversation, these facts must be a part of that.

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Organized Religion and Organized Crime

Organized Religion and Organized Crime are two sides to the same coin. They both want to control you and they do it through fear. Organized crime threatens you with death of yourself and your loved ones; organized religion threatens you with eternal damnation.
— Kalinysta

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NeoNote — Let's discuss guns

If we're going to have a conversation, these facts must be a part of that.

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NeoNote — Free market produces fewer losers

It's not that capitalism produces no losers, it's that the free market produces fewer losers by a couple of orders of magnitude.

Notice that I am distinguishing between capitalism and the free market.

Again, I'm talking about a "bottom-up" self-organizing exchange versus a "top-down" system imposed by force. In a free market, the way to get ahead is providing what others want. In any other system, it's about controlling the system.

ANY artificial controls will be exploited by the most powerful at the expense of the weaker. Resources are diverted into controlling the rules rather than producing value.

"Moral obligations" will be used to shut competition out of the marketplace in the name of compassion, and it will be backed by government force, diverting still more resources away from the market and into government and control.

The free market has only one real justification, it has produced more wealth and more freedom for more people than anything else we have tried. The key is individual choice, not controlling the system.

In a free market, competition keeps us honest and choice is the only control that works.



The two most important phrases in human history:

“Let me help.”

“I can do better than
that!”




It's not the tools, it's the results.

The free market is an example of people choosing for themselves. Government is controlling people by force.

And yes, the world is changing. It's embracing choice. That doesn't mean that the politicos and technocrats will give up power willingly. But they can't control everything that happens. Who could have foreseen the world wide web, Snicker's bars, or topless maid services? What government agency would have tolerated those things? What Congress critter would have sponsored legislation creating flash mobs, radar detectors, or fantasy football?

I want more freedom for more people today. I want more of the same tomorrow. Choice is the best way to get freedom. That's it, plain and simple. That's my objective.



See, you're still talking politics. "Arrange." "Cap." That's about controlling others, implying that government force will be involved sooner or later.

Why should their choice control my action? Why should my choice control your action? Why should your choice control their action?

It's not about creating the framework or tweaking the system. They've got something I want, so I have to find something they want. Voluntary exchanges between consenting adults, and no third party taking a cut or dictating rules.



Freedom and wealth. The Apaches could not produce steel knives, antiseptics, or a horseshoe. In one sense they were free, but they didn't have wealth. What freedom and wealth they had was taken at the expense of others.

Freedom taken at the expense of someone else is privilege and is generally recognized as a Bad Thing. Perhaps the keystone to Western Civilization is the Ethic of Reciprocity. This is what makes freedom more than a privilege grab. It also can't be imposed by another.

I'm proposing that the free market makes freedom and wealth possible while making things mostly better today than they were yesterday. So we have steel tools, paracord, duck tape, battery drills, and lights at the flick of a switch. These and seven million and thirteen other things weren't even a possibility with a hunter/gatherer culture.

Freedom is only one part of the payoff.



Nice things result in greater freedom.

I grow stuff in my garden, but that is not my source of food. I can go to the grocery store and find a wider variety of fruits and vegetables than I could ever hope to grow myself. My choices are increased by the store, and it couldn't happen without the free market.

A few years back I was looking at an aquaponics set-up. Beyond the design and construction, it would have taken about twenty hours a week and between two and three hundred dollars more per month. And that is if everything went right and I never left town.

Is it necessary that I use the supermarket? No, but it's a better use of my time and resources than if I tried to do it on my own. It lets me use the labor and skills of others at a minimal cost to myself.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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NeoNote — Not slur words

Neo-paganism has nothing to do with devaluing human life. The term neo-pagan is a recent invention and has nothing to do with morality.

Honestly, Mrs. Bookworm, have you ever known me to devalue human life? Have you ever seen me treat anyone disrespectfully unless they disrespected me or someone else first? Yet I am a neopagan under the scholarly definition. I greet the sunrise. I dance naked under the full Moon. I've written and spoken against war, blood sacrifice, and coercion.

The fact is there is no monolithic morality among neopagans. Even most neopagans can't agree what the term means except in the broadest terms.

Neopagan and pagan are not slur words. I'd be happy to answer any general questions I can, or find you someone who can if I can't. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, I'd appreciate it if I could expect the same.



That may be true. But using pagan or neopagan as a way to describe low morality is unacceptable. Mrs. Bookworm and others here would not accept a slur like this against Jews or Christians.

I'm not asking anyone to participate. I'm just asking for the same respect that they themselves expect.



For what it is worth, I'd say that modern pagans are less tolerant of others who insist that their faith/belief system/rule set must dominate.

Sometimes the trick is convincing them that the nasty ole conservative Christians aren't always or even usually the enemy.



There we get into "no True Scottsman."

Just as an example, I can promise you that the first century Christian was a considerably different creature than his sixth century counterpart. Just as the eighteenth century version was very different. And how the early twentieth century version differed from the late twentieth, or even the twenty-first century incarnation. And that doesn't even allow for all the various sects.

The way I see it, faith is between you and the Divine. No one else.

I call myself pagan because I don't have a better term. I'm polytheistic and pantheistic. On alternate Thursdays and every third Tuesday I might admit to an animism bent as well. On the 13th of the month, I'll tell you (truthfully) that the label isn't really all that important, only the manifestation.
By most modern standards, I'm pagan. Certainly in the sense that I look for Divine manifestation outside of an official Book. Some of my stuff came by way of the new age fluffiness, sure. Some of it also came from gnosticism and the silence of a desert dawn. Does that make it less valid for me than yours is for you?

I'm not something less. I'm something else.



But is it better than being a gun toting redneck?

See, people today like to forget, but pagans invented civilization. And trade. And philosophy.

The Visigoths weren't intent on destroying civilization as much as they were controlling it.



The problem with the Visigoths wasn't that they were pagan. The problem is that they wanted to control others. We have the same kind of people today, and they are just as destructive. The issue isn't paganism, it's politics. Just as it is for certain Christians today.

BTW, my mother was born in Louisiana, my maternal grandfather was born in Tennessee, and my stepdad's family is from Arkansas. I'd put my redneck bona-fides up against any one else's.



For those interested in conspiracy theory, the Merovingian dynasty was the "Holy Grail" proposed by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln. That is, the bloodline supposedly descended from Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene. If this sounds familiar, Dan Brown lifted it for The Da Vinci Code. This may be the justification of the divine right of the European royals, although there is a (disputed) theory about a sacred king being a sacrifice.

This gets murky real fast, especially since many non-Western royals also trace their descent from gods.

Anyway, I've confuzzled things enough for now.



Not to mention that it wasn't unusual for the same sacred sites to be reused again and again and again, which raises the question of who or what was originally worshipped. And so on, and so forth…

Getting back to your point though, yes the Visigoths were pretty civilized. And yes they were pagan only in the sense that they weren't part of the Officially Approved variant faith at the time.

Traditionally, before someone goes after another faith, they always stomp out their own heresies. It's about the politics and who gets to call the shots, not about the purity of faith.

And of course that never happens in pagan faiths.

*ahem*

I might have set off the exaggeration alarm there.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.
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Engine that drives the political left

If I have learned one thing from life, it is that race is the engine that drives the political Left. When all else fails, that segment of America goes to the default position of using race to achieve its objectives. In the courtrooms, on college campuses, and, most especially, in our politics, race is a central theme. Where it does not naturally rise to the surface, there are those who will manufacture and amplify it.
— Ward Connerly

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Oppressed

Since the social victim has been oppressed by society, he comes to feel that his individual life will be improved more by changes in society than by his own initiative. Without realizing it, he makes society rather than himself the agent of change. The power he finds in his victimization may lead him to collective action against society, but it also encourages passivity within the sphere of his personal life.
— Shelby Steele

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Kids

Kids should be allowed to just be kids.
— Lauren Chen
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Mutual respect

Economics describes the flow of value.

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Government authority

By the democratic principles we espouse, government cannot have a right that citizens do not grant it. There are certain things that a person has no right to do. A person has no right to murder or rape another. Therefore, people cannot grant government authority to murder and rape. Similarly, no person has the right to forcibly take the property of one person in order to give it to another. Therefore, people cannot grant government authority to do the same thing. If I forcibly took property from one person, for any reason, most people would condemn it as theft, an immoral act. Theft or any other immoral act does not become moral because it is done by government acting on behalf of a consensus or majority vote just as murder or rape does not become a moral act simply because of a consensus or majority vote.
— Walter E. Williams

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Erase the past

One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present.
— Golda Meir

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Appropriate response to social justice concerns

You have “issues” with the Gadsden Flag? Go fuck yourself.

You have “issues” with the Betsy Ross flag? Go fuck yourself.

You have “issues” with my “Come and Take It” shirt? Go fuck yourself.

I could go on. But you get the idea.

Perhaps you consider this intemperate and confrontational. I agree! It is intemperate and confrontational by intent. Just like the Gadsden Flag.

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Definining libertarians

“"It's obvious you idiot" doesn't cut it.”

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Defining conservatives

A conservative tends to value economic freedom over personal freedom. Usually this means removing government obstacles to business while advocating a common moral belief system to join people together, even if someone has to sacrifice in the name of that system. In it's more extreme forms, that can mean dictating the personal behavior (and occasionally beliefs) of individuals through government actions. The bottom line and results take precedence over feelings.
— NeoWayland, Pagan•Vigil FAQ
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Defining modern liberals

A modern liberal can range from what used to be called a "progressive" to socialist. Roughly speaking, a modern liberal is all for personal freedom but feels that economic freedom and opportunity should be controlled by government action so that everyone "benefits equally" in the name of "social justice." In it's more extreme forms, it can mean that good intentions and lofty goals are judged over results.
— NeoWayland, Pagan•Vigil FAQ
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“No Liberal Seems Able to Explain to me How Trump is Racist”

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“How to Become a Dangerous Person”

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Feminists never notice

Feminists never notice crimes like this, because “violence against women” doesn’t matter when it’s committed by Third World men.
— Robert Stacy McCain, Death by Tourism
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Do good

People don't do good because of the law. People do good because it's the right thing to do. People choose good because it makes the World a little better than it was. It's the choice and the action that makes a responsible adult.
— NeoWayland
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Underdog

Public pressure had nothing to do with it. Like most great moments in American history, ordinary people chose the right thing and to hell with what the elected officials thought or did. Americans have been doing that for almost 250 years. It's a part of our mythology. How many of our great stories and films are about the underdog taking a stand and winning?
— NeoWayland
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History changes

History changes not because of Great People doing Great Things, but because of ordinary people choosing extraordinary things.
— NeoWayland
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Freedom

May we think of freedom not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.
— Peter Marshall

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Two huge lies

Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.
— Rick Warren

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Memo to Google and other Alphabet companies

Dear Google folks,

You don't make the world better by cramming speech and ideas you don't like in the closet.

Your job is not to pass judgment on the worth of any idea.

Your job is to provide access to all ideas so people can make their own choices.

Even if the choices are ideas you don't approve. Especially if you don't approve. People have the right to make up their own mind. Deny that and you deny freedom.

Don't be evil.

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A woman's body

The solution to this problem isn’t increasing the censorship powers of the already-bloated police state as carceral feminists are demanding; it’s fighting the idea that a woman’s body is something to be ashamed of.
— Maggie McNeill
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Worst behaviours

Modern feminism is largely about encouraging women to adopt the worst behaviours of men.
— Tim Newman

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Assault

It's interesting that the people who believe that throwing a milkshake in someone's face shouldn't be considered assault are often the same people who believe that 'saying things' should be.

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Labeled

Public spectacle to bypass the law and suppress dissent.

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“The War on Backpage.com Is a War on Sex Workers”

“Michael Lacey and James Larkin's website, Backpage.com was seized in April 2018 and they were arrested for allegedly facilitating prostitution. They have maintained their innocence, saying the publishing on their website, which included adult ads and general classifieds, is protected by the First Amendment.”

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"People of color"

"People of color" don't need me to make them victims, they are too busy doing it themselves.
— NeoWayland
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Professional academics

In my experience, professional academics are appallingly ignorant outside their fields, and often ignorant of their field outside their specific school of thought. Especially in the humanities or the soft sciences.

Outside of the real world, success is measured by publication and complication, not the practical application. Shakespeare is not just a dead white guy's words on a page, it's about understanding character and narrative and the blossoming of human nature. It's about passing on stories and showing the future what worked for us and those who went before.

There's a reason why the "dead white males" stuff stuck around, it's because it worked. That doesn't mean it excludes all other possibilities, it means we start with what we know worked so we can learn to see what else could happen.
— NeoWayland
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NeoNote — Save us from the crusaders

Save us from the crusaders. “Here I come to save the day!”

Whatever form WestCiv and America specifically ends up with, you're still going to have to live with people who disagree and hate everything you stand for. You don't build communities by excluding people you don't like.

Crusading just means "your" side will win for a short while. And the the whole cycle starts again.



Unknown today. In his time, his writings were very well known and pretty influential. He wrote Our Enemy, the State among other things

I cited him in the first place is because a top down approach doesn't work for very long, if it works at all. People resent being told what to do, especially if you force them. I don't have a detailed plan because I don't think that any one person or any one group has all the answers. I think a big, big part of the problem is that we usually phrase our social problems in dualities, this or that. Dualities exclude other choices, it's all or nothing. So when I see phases like "save Western Civilization," it tells me that someone is reinforcing the original problem, not finding a solution.

No matter how good their plan may be, anything based on a dual choice and only a dual choice is doomed. That's the point that Nock tried to make in that article. People won't submit to Greater Authority for Their Own Good. The people you might convince won't listen until after the stuff hits the fan.



To start with, we could enforce the Constitution. The Tenth Amendment clearly outlaws most of the Federal government.

Given how little the Federal government pays attention to the Constitution and it's own laws, I don't think additional restrictions would work.



The Constitution was designed to rein in government. I'd encourage anyone interested to read the Federalist papers and the anti-Federalist papers. Unless the power is specifically granted in the Constitution, the Federal government doesn't have it. Or at least it shouldn't.

The one time that the Constitution was amended to restrict the people was a disaster.

It wasn't until the progressive movement of the late 19th and early 20th that the public perception of limited government turned to expecting an activist government with virtually unlimited powers.

I don't care about SCOTUS in the 20th Century, I'm pretty sure that time travel causes unintended consequences.



See, I'm not sure if adding more government is the solution to bad government. Hmm, I might have said something like that before.

And I don't think trading insults is the way to go. Sometimes winning isn't nearly as important as keeping the other guy from reaching the goal.



Isn't adding things like term limits and engineering the constraints adding to government?

I wasn't talking about insulting the voters. Imagine a boxing match. Which shows more skill, the ability to take and dish out punch after punch? Or the ability not to get hit while letting the other guy hurt himself trying to hurt you?

Which leaves you better able to go to work after?



Yes, the Constitution is a restraint device. But it hasn't worked. Why should another work? This is where you lose me.

Whatever Trump may or may not be, what happens next? Trump is rare, most people can't fight dirty for an extended time. If the only structure we can build depends on fighting dirty for every advantage, how are we better off?



No, it hasn't, not for at least 85 years. Although I think a strong case can be made that it hasn't more than a century. What we've been living under is the illusion that the Constitution is working and that more government is a good thing.

I've argued that term limits are meaningless when the major parties control who gets on the ballot. I've also argued that primary elections divert attention away from the real stakes. CGP Grey has a great video explaining why first part the post voting is not a good thing.

I keep returning to this because I think it is critical. We've been indoctrinated for generations to think that the way to fix a corrupt system is through system management. We've moved beyond the black mold stage, the pieces are so radioactive that using them not only risks our health but also could contaminate any new pieces we add. The benefits of "playing the system" and exploiting others and yes, even fighting dirty and ugly so outweigh long term thinking that there are actually severe disincentives to a long term IPD.

Case in point, and this one isn't even a libertarian thing. The US has more military bases in more foreign nations than any other power in history. Our military spending is bigger than the next thirty nations combined. We actively discourage other nations from establishing their own bases. We meddle in their internal affairs and throw hissy fits when people from other nations buy advertising aimed at our own elections. We bully others and tell ourselves that we fight the really bad bullies "for the little guy."

Why?

Do you think that Trump would stand down? Maybe close ten percent of our overseas bases? Do you think that American intervention leads to a safer world? Would you accept it if other nations did the same to the US?

Why is it bad when the deep state does it, but OK when Trump uses the same tools?



You misunderstand. I'm waiting for the system to rip itself apart. I don't have to work actively against it, I just don't have to patch it up or compensate for it's failure.

One area we do disagree is that the right is somehow more moral than the left. Another is that a system controlled by the right is preferable to one controlled by the left. The right gave us the USA PATRIOT Act, and the left gave us Obamacare. Hard to say at this point which has done the most damage. As for Trump, well, trade and tariffs alone are balanced on a knifeblade between what might possibly work if we are extremely lucky and what might cause disaster so epic as to make the Great Depression and World War II look like last Tuesday.



It's not the voters I don't trust. I don't trust the "options" the voters are allowed to have. You can have your left arm or your right leg cut off, but you must choose one.

I'm willing to let my principles compete without the coercion of the state or what is "morally right." That's more than either the right or the left want, they want to hold a gun to people's heads for Your Own Good.

The right is self-limiting? The War on Drugs. Too big to fail. An ongoing overseas war that for the first time in American history, has soldiers fighting who weren't even born when it started.

While I marginally prefer conservatives, no one and certainly no institution gets a pass because of the label. Branding is a horrific way to govern. What have you done for me lately?



The duality is an illusion. More accurately the duality is a condition required for the system to work. But that doesn't mean the system is a good idea or the best idea. Yet that duality by it's nature locks us into either/or and calls it the best choice.

The system wants us to choose the best baseball team when I want to swim.

My problem is that I see statists on "both" sides, and the right is no less threatening than the left. Your premise is that the right is a better choice and my premise is that statists (any statists) threaten freedom.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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Power from victimhood

If you teach people to only take power from their victimhood, all you're really doing is teaching them to stay victims.
— NeoWayland
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Greet the sunrise

I also greet the sunrise every day that I can. That's something I learned from my Baptist deacon grandfather. Granted, I do it with a bit more ceremony than he ever did. He was content to do it from the front porch with a cup of coffee.

Oh, and I've been known to dance naked in the light of a full Moon.

You can't embarrass me for following rites and rituals, anymore than you can embarrass a Christian for taking communion or an orthodox Jew for keeping kosher. My faith isn't my politics, and it doesn't matter to me what others think about it. It's between me and the Divine.
— NeoWayland
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Agreement and understanding

We are conditioned from a variety of sources to automatically expect agreement to follow from understanding.
— Franklin Evans
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Mark of monotheism

Christians over the years have killed a lot more people in the name of their God or for the Greater Good than anyone else. It seems to be a mark of monotheism, and something the rest of us wish the monotheists would grow out of of.
— NeoWayland
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Sins of your faith

If you are going to claim enlightenment in the name of your faith, you'd better damn accept the sins too.
— NeoWayland
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NeoNote — Biblical morality

Then I choose not to follow a Biblical morality.

Read More...
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We don't agree with each other

We don't agree with each other, not entirely. Just because someone is religious doesn't automatically mean that they are defective. If nothing else, that faith gives them a different perspective. It doesn't mean it's right or wrong, more or less, just different. Sometimes that's good, sometimes not. It depends on the individual and circumstances.

Religion is bad is just as big a trap as science is good. There was an author named Isaac Bonewits who wrote on the limitations of dualism. Either/or thinking can trap you. One example is that if something is ACCEPTABLE than everything else is NOT ACCEPTABLE. It becomes easier to define what doesn't work for you as not fitting your worldview instead on it's own characteristics. If all you are looking for is WHITE, than anything else including fuzzy pink becomes NOT WHITE. I'm sure you'll agree that while black and fuzzy pink are NOT WHITE, neither are they the same thing. And we still haven't touched on semi-sweet.
— NeoWayland
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“SAT Adversity Score: More Affirmative Action?”

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NeoNote - Compassion, abortion and faith

Pardon, but attacking their compassion may not be the best way to go.

I don't have an answer either, but I think if you asked most conservatives if abortion was more compassionate than taking care of unwanted and/or disabled babies, they would laugh in your face. You would hand them both the issue and the moral high ground.



First, those are different issues. Conservatives aren't a monolithic block. Not every conservative has issues with vaccines, and not every conservative thinks that autism is worse than death. I've not run the numbers, but I suspect the crossover with the pro-life crowd is pretty small.

Second, I'm not the one you'll have to convince. I have mixed feelings myself and it's one of those issues where I can see more than one side depending on circumstance. But when you tell most conservatives that "killing babies" is more compassionate, you've lost the argument with them and they will fight you to the end. It doesn't help that Democrats have defined abortion as their primary issue and practically THE only standard that matters for a Supreme Court justice. It doesn't help that Roe vs. Wade has no constitutional precedent and would be inevitably challenged as soon as the balance on the court changed.

This has always been a divisive issue. When conservatives look at Virginia, they see it as a call to action. This "slaughter of innocents" is something that they've been forced to accept for almost 50 years, and they are ready to fight back hard.



By your standards.

By their standards of compassion, they are saving babies.

And that "they" includes many women who do not believe that feminists, liberals, and Democrats speak for them. You can't win this issue if you dismiss those women as objects who can't think on their own and must be "saved" from the evil patriarchy.



I've my own issues with Christians.

But…

How is what they do that much different from what you just did? You just described a "come to Jesus" moment only with a different premise.

If faith means anything at all, it has to be freely chosen. That means that people are going to make choices that you don't like, don't understand, and don't approve of. You are no more entitled to judge their creed for them than they are entitled to judge yours for you. You can't win a battle of faith. Neither can they.

If you tell them that they are ignorant and living in fear and that everything they believe about their god is wrong, they have no reason to listen. All you are doing is feeding their perceived persecution. They don't believe they are victimized.

And not all of them are.



Please don't misunderstand. I'm not saying that they are right. And I am certainly not defending them. My own feelings on the subject are way too conflicted.

What I am saying is that in this case the liberal/progressive ideas of compassion and sympathy are completely different from the conservative ideas. You're using the same words but you are having completely different conversations. Attack them in the name of compassion and in their minds you just made their case for them and without realizing it.

The assumptions and perspectives are completely different. Your logic won't work for them, just as theirs won't work for you. Both of you are starting from absolutes for one thing, even if those absolutes are mostly opposite.



As a libertarian, I want less government than absolutely necessary. I'm not thrilled with idea of restricting rights, but I'm also not thrilled with the idea of government "picking up the slack" so to speak. And I oppose government interference with sex. But that doesn't mean I'm completely with the "left" on sex either. I don't think there should be government funding for private charities or other organizations. Which means Planned Parenthood shouldn't be getting grants or funding.

Or to cut through all the verbiage, rights good, government meddling bad.

I don't trust in the wisdom of government to "do the right thing."



See, my problem is that I see both major parties using government to interfere and push their own agendas. "For Your Own Good!" "For The Greater Good!" "Think Of The Children!"

Sex is mostly a voluntary act. I see abortion mostly and commonly used as the "contraception of last resort." A hook-up and regret after a drunken encounter is not the same thing as rape or incest. I think a case can be made for abortion because of rape or incest provided we accept that a case can be made for adoption as well.

We forget that charity used to happen outside of government. Marvin Olasky wrote The Tragedy of American Compassion. Although I don't agree with all of his conclusions, Olasky does point out that charity used to be a short-term thing, privately and locally administered, and above all intended to get people on their feet and responsible for their own choices. Instead of a faceless bureaucracy that measures it's "success" by "clients" processed and money spent, private charity measures it's success differently.

If people had to take responsibility, maybe abortion wouldn't be casual.



I'm not asking you to do anything else. I am saying that they have their own reasons which make sense to them. Their reasons are just as important to them as yours are to you.

Stars above, I get so very tired of the either/or dualism. It's never going to be winner take all. The longer we pretend that one side can decisively win, the longer the struggle will last. The people pushing hardest for either/or don't care which side wins as long as both sides are so blinded by the "righteousness" of their own cause that the never realize just how much they are surrendering to the "system."

All because somebody has to be in charge. All because we have to meddle in the lives and choices of others. All because we can't trust each other to make the "right choice" and take responsibility for that choice.

I'm not conservative. I'm not defending their position. I am not asking you to accept them on faith or anything else.

I'm saying that to really resolve this, we're going to have to sit down and talk through our differences. Smashing heads, pointing guns, and using the rule of law to declare one morality supreme above all isn't going to do anything for the long term. It will always be a holding pattern until the other side gets an advantage.

Think about all the passion we're giving away. There has got to be a better way.

ETA: I don't care who did it first. I don't care who did it more. I just want the whole mess over.



Pardon, but the liberal party also regularly proclaims that they are for the children. The last Democrat nominee ran as the "women and children" candidate. In 1996 a Democrat president proclaimed that the era of big government was over.

I don't think that government is the first, best, and last solution to our problems. I don't think politicos are qualified to decide what should be taught in schools, sex ed or not.

And here's the opinion that is not going to make me popular. If you can't afford children, you should rethink sex. People keep throwing in things like rape and incest, but most sex in this country is consensual. Mixing rape, incest, and consensual sex objectifies the woman and makes her not responsible for her own choices.

No, I am not ignoring the man in these cases. I am saying that rape and incest are the exception to the rule. Even under the ever changing definition of rate in today's culture, where some women do believe that regret equals rape.

At the moment, we're in a mess with both major parties wanting control over sex. You can blame the Republicans all you want, but thanks to #MeToo it's not the "patriarchy" that is collapsing, it's how we deal with one another and how we share sex.

I'm not going to make the conservative arguments for them. I'm telling you how they feel and how they are going to react.

Kavanaugh was asked about abortion. Most of the articles about Gorsuch speculated on how he might rule in abortion cases. And most of the concern about Trump picking judges gets coached in the impact it will have on abortion cases. Like it or not, this has become the standard.

The natural conclusion to the argument that if only a woman has the right to decide, then the man has no financial obligation to ending the abortion or paying child support.

Personally I don't think that tax dollars should go to any organization providing services, medical or otherwise. But that's not the conservative argument. I'll also point out what any accountant can tell you, if government pays for a certain class of services, that frees up funding for other things.

Government involvement in health care (all types) has raised the cost of "essential services." It's no accident that health care prices have skyrocketed since Medicare and Medicaid became law, boosted by every attempt to "control costs." It doesn't help that since health insurance became an employee benefit, people don't know what they are paying for.

If we're really going to have this discussion about solutions, one thing that has got to be on the table is removing government intervention. Yes, that means no government restrictions on abortion, but that also means no government (taxpayer) funded healthcare.



“The difference here being that Democrats support policies that help women, children, and families of all demographics.”

I'm sorry, but that is not true. For much of my life I've lived next to the Diné and Hopi. Democrat policies are very selective as to which groups get "helped" under which circumstances. I am not saying that the Republicans are better. I am saying that "public solutions" to social problems don't usually work, especially when they are administered hundreds or thousands of miles away from the actual problem. There are other reasons of course. Words matter, actions matter more, intentions don't.

Politicians are not qualified to determine curriculum, but neither are technocrats who don't live near the school and whose kids don't go to the school. Problems get solved when the people responsible for solving the problems have "skin in the game." Look at this. I say I don't believe that government is the first, last, and best solution and you're telling me why the Democrat experts are better. I'm not praising the Republicans. I'm criticizing the assumption that any Federal experts are better equipped to solve problems because they are Official and sanctioned by the appropriate authorities.

Responsibility for what one chooses to do is conservative? I know that is not what you meant, but it comes off as sex without consequences. Responsibility is important, and as long as sex is voluntary and consensual it's only adult to consider the consequences. Just as it's adult to consider before driving drunk, or stealing a protest sign that you don't agree with. Actions have consequences, the mark of an adult is the ability to make the right choice despite the threat of punishment.

Now I am not talking about not punishing people for their crimes or bad behavior. I'm saying that PIV sex is usually a choice and that, protected or not, might result in pregnancy. If you don't want kids, if you can't afford kids, the best time to think about that is before the moment when the hormones start carbonating.

I've never disputed that women have human rights. What I pointed out was the standard for a Federal judge has become their opinion on abortion. That's become one cornerstone of Democrat policy. Regardless of if I personally believe if abortion is right or wrong or if a women's choice should govern if abortion happens, I do find myself agreeing with those who say that the only way abortion could be made legal nationwide is through judicial declaration and not through the democratic process. Small d there. Throw in public monies and suddenly a right becomes a privilege.

I'm pointing out the logical fallacy of claiming it's a "woman's right" until it comes time to pay the bill. Choice without responsibility usually gives us spoiled brats, no matter what the gender or orientation.

The unregulated world is a charitable one. It's when charity becomes part of government that it becomes Somebody Else's Problem and Americans stop paying attention to what is needed. Americans voluntarily give more to charity than anyone else on the planet. Whether it's a child fallen down a well or a hurricane flooding New Orleans, we're there. More times than not, it's the Official™ charity and relief that gets in the way.

There's a good reason for that, and It is something I touched on earlier. Charity is supposed to be short term. When you tell someone that they will have government health care no matter what or that they will have financial aid to help pay the monthly bills no matter what, what incentive do they have to do for themselves? When you say someone needs government help, aren't you really saying that they are not good enough to do it on their own?

I'm not the first one to point out that the rising costs in heath care drastically outpaced inflation starting right after Medicare and Medicaid became law. Or that continued attempts to "fix healthcare" keep causing prices to go up and availability to go down. Think about it. The relative costs of Happy Meals, pocket calculators, cell phones, and bathroom towels have decreased while the availability and selection has gone up. That's not true with medical care, one of the most regulated industries out there. The disparity in pharmaceutical costs alone should make you wonder.

Removing government from the solution does work even if the government experts and the experts who depend on government tell you it won't. There's a couple of dozen special interest groups right there, all of them greedy for power and money. Somehow the accepted solution is always more government.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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Vulgar mistake

Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

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“CBS STOKES Political Division: The Good Fight”

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NeoNote — the American compromise

Basically they didn't want another church telling their church what to do.

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Language

Just to point out the obvious, previously language changed without being mandated or legally sanctioned or morally correct. It worked because people used it and decided that it worked.
— NeoWayland
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“Preferred Pronouns or Prison”

““He.” “She.” “They.” Have you ever given a moment’s thought to your everyday use of these pronouns? It has probably never occurred to you that those words could be misused. Or that doing so could cost you your business or your job – or even your freedom. Journalist Abigail Shrier explains how this happened and why it's become a major free speech issue.”

Read More...
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“John McWhorter: America Has Never Been Less Racist”

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“Coolness was never conservative.”

Coolness was never conservative.

It grew out of the jazz age and into the Las Vegas and West Coast aesthetic personified by Hefner, Sinatra, and Bruce. It was always about pushing the envelope with just a touch of rebellion. It was always about the show over substance and the deeds better left unmentioned.
— NeoWayland
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NeoNote — Virtue is a choice

Virtue isn't doing the right thing when there is no choice. Virtue is choosing and then doing it because it is the right thing.

That means the choice has to exist. It also means some people are going to make choices you don't like.

Without choice, it's not virtue. If you take the choice away, you're telling the person that you don't trust them and they aren't fully human.

Stuff happens, You can't change that. You can only try to make the World a little better than how you found it . Do you want people who can make the right choice? Or do you want ignorant children who don't know any better?
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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Childlike moral binary

The childlike moral binary: only people who hold the all correct positions merit empathy or respect.
— Dorian Lynskey, 2:50 AM - 2 Apr 2019

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Works for religion

People are looking for something, and some of them are not finding it in churches. Some are, but there never was a one-size-fits-all solution. Competition keeps us honest. It works for peanut butter, smart phones, and politics.

And it most certainly works for religion.
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Jefferson on democracy

Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty one percent can vote away the rights of the other forty nine.
— Thomas Jefferson

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Franklin on democracy

The internet is the last, best hope for freedom. And the European Union can't stand that idea.

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One tenth the effort

If the mainstream media spent one tenth the effort looking at Democrat misconduct that it does looking for Republican misconduct, the nation would be far better off.
— NeoWayland
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Focus

When disaster strikes, the national media focus on the despair and helplessness of those affected; the local media emphasize the strength and determination.

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NeoNote — The grand distraction

I'm not going to talk about Trump and his failings or if he is substantially worse than the other presidents.

What I am going to talk about (again) is that all these efforts to nail Trump show that the Federal government has too much power and that rogue elements and actors are not held accountable.

Yes, Trump's office was bugged. But that is just part of a surveillance state that has been in turbo boost since 9-11. And 9-11 isn't a good excuse, it just codified and focused secret plans that had been drifting around since the 1970s.

The issue is not Trump. The issue is not the Republicans. The issue is not the Democrats. These ongoing struggles over which party is on the side of the angels and public perception over crimes and misdeeds, that's just the distraction. While we're arguing over who did what, there are unelected and unaccountable elements in government and high finance who are taking power and freedom away from you.

No, you didn't win. The game hasn't stopped. We are still being screwed. And the next bit will make this look like robbing a kid's lemonade stand.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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War & banking

It is no coincidence that the century of total war coincided with the century of central banking.
— Ron Paul, End the Fed
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Islam

Islam is a faith. Criticism of Islam is not racism.
— NeoWayland
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NeoNote — Unjustified privilege

You're making unjustified assumptions.

Is the climate crisis a thing? To some (like most pagans), yes. To others like (not conservative) me, no. It's an article of faith, not far removed from monotheism or forgiveness of sin. The issue is that because of the alarmism, those who believe in the climate crisis don't tolerate dissent because of the "urgency" of the problem.

At their best, American Christian conservatives are extremely community minded. A child lost in the woods? They are there looking. Death in the family? Somebody is bringing meals by. The problem is who they identify as being part of the community. Something that is not helped by some like pagans setting themselves outside the acknowledged community.

Most claims of conservative racism are because the conservatives involved didn't see any reason to grant special privilege when people already had rights recognized by law. It doesn't help when conservatives are routinely accused of white supremacy simply for being the wrong skin color regardless of their words and actions. There is a vast difference between not supporting the claims of groups like BLM and being racist. Because conservatives (and libertarians too) see rights as individual and not collective, the idea of identity politics is repugnant. You have rights because you are human, not because you are Hispanic, female, wore a pink hat in a march, or consider yourself non-binary.

What's more, the idea that only "whites" can be racist because of something that was done in their great-great-great grandparents time just doesn't fly. Racism comes in all colors. I've seen casual racism my entire life. I've also seen most people reach out for no other reason than someone else needed help.

Finally, judging people by label is a mistake. The label has no inherent vice or virtue. It's the individual who makes the label mean something through their words and actions, not the other way around. Power from victimhood depends on the pity of others and will make you less than you are.



Here are some of the demands for privilege I've seen during my life.

The idea that one skin color and one skin color alone can decide what is and is not racism. I still know people who try to convince me that a "black" minister saying "Hymietown" is not racist.

The idea that inner-city poverty is a more important than reservation poverty.

The idea that a person whose family came from Nigeria two generations ago has a claim on the success of a person whose family came from China five generations ago.

The idea that skin color should trump evidence in a crime.

And as long as we keep qualifying the legal definition of who is and is not allowed to marry, that problem will not go away. Previously I've pointed out in discussions on this site that somehow in the call for marriage equality poly marriage wasn't even a consideration. That selectivity is a consequence of defining rights by group instead of individual.



Pardon, but the bit about how some threw poly people under the bus should be stressed. Because the "struggle" wasn't about marriage in whatever form it could take between consenting adults, it was about "gay marriage."

It wasn't about rights. It was about privilege for some taken at the expense of others.

No, there wasn't a "polyamorous community" fighting to be recognized. I had some LGBT activists tell me emphatically that poly people didn't deserve marriage because they hadn't fought for it.

That is where my issue is. I'm perfectly willing to fight for equal rights. But I hear demands for "black" rights, Hispanic rights, women's rights, gay rights, and for all I know rights for people with ingrown toenails. Not to mention Christian rights, pagan rights, Muslim rights, atheist rights, and pastafarian rights. That doesn't even count the constant efforts of government to define government powers as rights (police rights, Congress has the right…). It seems that everyone wants to carve out their own piece but no one is willing to help carve out a piece for any group but theirs. Especially if they don't agree with other groups.

It's not about rights. It's about privilege for some taken at the expense of others.

Oh, and by the way, "white" cis males are guilty for all the troubles in the world. Especially when they don't abase themselves to the demands of self-identified victims-of-the-week. No matter what they personally have done or said, "white" cis males are undeniably and collectively guilty. Or so I am told. Again and again and again.

How that is not racist is beyond me.

Meanwhile "people of color" tell me that they are fighting for the rights of the victimized. And they are. But not if those victims live almost invisibly and don't advance certain causes. And definitely not if those victims have different politics. If there is an oil pipeline that gets TV coverage, the "champions" are all over it. But every day poverty on Amerindian reservations, well, that just isn't important enough.

So tell me, when is it reasonable when some victims are deliberately overlooked? Maybe it's not about rights. Maybe it's about privilege.

Human rights are the only ones worth fighting for. Maybe we should worry about the rights we share instead of a place in the pecking order. It's not a right unless the other has it too.



“I still wouldn't characterize them as privileges.”

I know. That's what's so frustrating. Human rights get moved to the back seat, then to the bicycle with a flat tire thirteen rows back.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

Comments

Personally I'd be willing to live and let live with Christians.

Personally I'd be willing to live and let live with Christians. But that works two ways. If my beliefs don't control the actions and beliefs of monotheists, then theirs don't control mine. That means that the law must treat every faith (and even no faith) equally. Neither help nor hinder. No special consideration or privilege. But at the same time, some Christians act as if their religion must be raised above all others, even by those who do not practice it. Freedom of religion does not mean putting Christianity first. It means choice, even if that choice is one you do not agree with.
— NeoWayland
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NeoNote — This tragedy does not reflect on Heathens.

Kudos for not mentioning the shooter's name.

The shooter had absolutely nothing to do with Heathenry or pagan beliefs. I don't understand why any group should change their language, practices, customs or actions when the shooter was not part of the group or the community.

Guns are not the problem. There are many more responsible gun owners than crazy people. The people who pay attention to gun laws are not the ones you should worry about. I say this as a reluctant gun advocate. I hate guns and I would ban them if I could eliminate every gun.

This tragedy does not reflect on Heathens. I understand that you have issues with how some Heathens speak and act. I respect that and I expect that you should speak your conscience. This terrible event should not justify wholesale changes in Heathenry just to satisfy your political desires.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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NeoNote — Religion & morality

There is nothing that prevents people from following religious law. But there is nothing that demands others follow those same religious laws.
— NeoWayland
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❝There is no climate crisis…❞

The whole climate crisis is not only fake news, it’s fake science. There is no climate crisis, there’s weather and climate all around the world, and in fact carbon dioxide is the main building block of all life.
— Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace. Yes, he really was a co-founder of Greenpeace

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“How to Red Pill a Liberal”

“We all get into intense discussions with frustrating leftists, but despite all the reason and logic in the world, we rarely make progress. In this video, I explore some ways in which anyone might effectively red pill a liberal.”

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No to the American's Creed

I believe in the United States of America as a Government of the people, by the people, for the people; whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a Republic; a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect Union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes. I therefore believe it is my duty to my Country to love it; to support its Constitution; to obey its laws; to respect its flag; and to defend it against all enemies.
— The American's Creed as quoted in Embracing the American's Creed


Regarding the creed.

No.

So here is this marvelous piece of 1917 poetry, and I said no. Why?

It's the difference between the Dream and the actuality.

One topic I've been debating recently is the emergency powers of the President. If you accept that the President has the power to declare emergencies, it's not exactly “of the people, by the people, for the people.” It's literally what one man said, not subject to debate or dissent. Theoretically it can be revised by Congress, but in practice it never is.

It doesn't stop there. Some agencies have power to regulate the people and the states. While sometimes these powers are subject to Congressional review, usually these regulations have the power of law without actually being law. What's worse is that the agencies often have administrative courts with different requirements. It's outside the normal court system and not subject to the rules of law. These regulations do not come from the "consent of the governed."

America has not been “a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States” since at least the Civil War. Everything from education to Prohibition to the EPA has been forced on the states, often in direct violation of the wishes of the citizens of the states. There's very little way to opt out.

America was never meant to be a “a perfect Union, one and inseparable;”. The phrase comes from the preamble of the U.S. Constitution, but somehow the creed left out one word that changes the meaning. We're not meant to have a perfect union, we're supposed to have a more perfect union. As in we haven't done it yet, it's a work in progress. We're still arguing over what that means and how we can do it.

And yes, that means that if people don't like it, they can leave it. Even whole states.

Those ideals of “freedom, equality, justice, and humanity” are mutually incompatible. Specifically, freedom and justice aren't about equality or humanity. For most of the 20th Century, the idea of equality was used to rein in exceptional and unusual people. They couldn't be allowed to challenge the status quo. I don't know what the ideals of humanity are, but I am pretty sure we don't agree.

Speaking of justice, there are unjust American laws. Mandatory minimum sentencing, civil forfeiture, eminent domain, vice laws, laws and regulations preventing the use of precious metals as legal tender, mandatory union dues, "free speech" zones, zoning laws, the list goes on and on.

Nobody, no person, no institution, and certainly no nation deserves love without reservation. If you do not question what your nation does, you have failed as a citizen. The Constitution is not perfect and certainly the law is not perfect. And lest we forget, this nation was founded on the biggest and most polite "screw you" in human history. You can't choose liberty unless you embrace the right to walk away.

That's it. That's why my response is a simple word.

No.

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Maybe the fault isn't in the "Right" or "Left…"

Maybe the fault isn't in the "Right" or "Left," but in the idea that other people's behavior must be controlled For Their Own Good and For the Good of Society. Rather than teaching people that freedom comes with responsibility, we condition people to obey the duly delegated Proper Authority for the sake of perpetuating the institution.
— NeoWayland
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“Stossel: Academic Hoax”

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Expertise and understanding

Language is defined by usage, not expert decision and proclamation. It's why there are new words like smartphone and LOL. It's why there are obscure words like gelogenic and aretaics that most people don't know.

Now, do I know science? Yep, I know the scientific method. I know that science works by explaining past phenomena and accurately predicting future change. I know that there is a difference between physics and chemistry, although hardcore physicists will insist that every thing in chemistry is only a subsection of physics. I know that expertise does more to define blind spots than establish authority.

And I know that insight and understanding is not defined by degrees and publication, but by who can explain and predict. I also know that disparaging the source without considering the argument moves from scholarship to dogma. I know that the institution doesn't have value except in that it can produce results.
— NeoWayland
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Science doesn't work by consensus

Science doesn't work by consensus. Science works by explaining existing phenomena AND accurately predicting what happens next. Scientists are people too and they can see where the money and power are coming from. Very few want to speak against that. Sometimes the ones who have disputed the consensus have been attacked and discredited without the argument ever being addressed.
— NeoWayland
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❝The 3 Rules of Hate Speech: Free Speech Rules (Episode 2)❞

America is not a rape culture.

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Dispute

For the Official Record, I didn't dispute that climate change is occurring. I disputed the measured changes were significant, if they were unusual, and if they were human caused. There's also the questions if the changes are bad, if humans can stop or reverse it, and if we should mess with a climate system that we have yet to understand.

For these reasons I dispute the climate change crisis.
— NeoWayland
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Rape culture

There is a distinct difference between healthcare and health insurance.

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NeoNote — Deliberately created panic

What we do know is that there are loud politicos who want to take freedom, power, and money from people "for the greater good."

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NeoNote — Green New Deal

I think that for the politicos it was never about saving humans or the planet, it was always the justification for shifting massive amounts of power and cash without accountability.

Ocasio-Cortez is an idiot and a very noisy distraction.

What is going to hit next is The Compromise®. There will be some very well respected and high profile Democrats who will publicly proclaim that of course the Green New Deal goes too far. But maybe we should consider some of the proposals. Carefully. After all, people are scared.

And if the "reasonable" Democrats don't get The Compromise®, they can always throw their weight behind Ocasio-Cortez.

I suspect that "no planes" means no air travel unless it's Absolutely Necessary. With the Democrats deciding what is and is not necessary. Look for that in all the new proposals. That will be part of The Compromise® and how it will be sold to the public.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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“Bad Laws Cause Homeless Crisis”

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Not a defect

Consider this. Is it possible that the corruption and graft are a function of the system and not a defect?
— NeoWayland
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❝Why You Can't Argue with a Leftist❞

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Tuesday roundup

Donald Trump: ‘We’ve Got to Get Out of These Endless Wars’



The Winter is Wreaking Havoc on Electric Vehicle Batteries

Truthfully I hadn't really thought about this. Neither did most people. What use is a car that doesn't run when you need it? In my area, I still need something with about a 300 mile range and the ability to recharge in minutes.


Taxes Are Getting Weaponized for Partisan Purposes

“How willing are you to pay taxes when you know they’re intended to do you harm?”

The Real Problem: The Militarization of the NFL

“Professional sports should stop shilling for the warfare state.”

San Francisco — where drug addicts outnumber high school students

This is tied into their aggressive homeless problem. San Francisco used to be one of the most walkable cities in the country and a real joy to visit. I don't think that's true anymore.


Covington Student Nick Sandmann’s Lawyers Send Preservation Letters to Media, Celebrities

“The defamation lawyer tweeted a video that has crucial footage ignored by the MSM.”

Major DNA Testing Company Sharing Genetic Data With the FBI

Violating the Fourth Amendment "for your own good."


U.S. Coup Attempt In Venezuela Lacks International Support

Yes, the U.S. is after the oil. You should recognize this, it's a repeating pattern. “What's good for General Bullmoose is what's good for the U.S.A.”


The cheapest Chinese electric cars are coming to the US and Europe—for as little as $9,000

These might be a solution, but it doesn't fit my needs. They don't have the range and I wouldn't want to take them on an American highway or interstate.
“”

Trump Once Wanted to Negotiate With Russia Over Nukes. Then Mueller Happened.

If true, this is a perfect example of unintended consequences. I wonder if Trump can turn this around.
“”

The Democrats and the politics of division

The politics of division is the politics of victimhood. This is already biting the DNC. Who gets to be on top of the victim hierarchy? And for how long?


When Feminists Abandon Girls

The victim hierarchy strikes again. No criticism allowed.


Why Does the Federal Government Fail So Miserably Most of the Time?

For most things, the private sector and individual choice can do it better, faster, cheaper, and with deeper penetration.

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Education should not be pre-chewed

The classes teaching socialist and Marxist ideology aren't labeled as such. They are in fact part of the general education requirement. That wouldn't be so bad, except those classes are the only ones allowed. No one is allowed to dissent from the orthodoxy.

Once upon a time, university meant debating things that you disagreed with or that made you uncomfortable. You learned to think and defend your reasoning even if the words and thoughts you faced offended you.

Now, we have safe spaces to protect overgrown children from triggering because they shouldn't have to face something that actually makes them think and grow.

Education should not be pre-chewed. Education should be hard. Education should challenge you to be something more than you are right now. Education should be about understanding what you oppose. Education should be about finding what works.
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On the Equality Act

The Nature of Sex

If this sounds like a massive overreach, consider the fact that the proposed Equality Act — with 201 co-sponsors in the last Congress — isn’t simply a ban on discriminating against trans people in employment, housing, and public accommodations (an idea with a lot of support in the American public). It includes and rests upon a critical redefinition of what is known as “sex.” We usually think of this as simply male or female, on biological grounds (as opposed to a more cultural notion of gender). But the Equality Act would define “sex” as including “gender identity,” and defines “gender identity” thus: “gender-related identity, appearance, mannerisms, or characteristics, regardless of the individual’s designated sex at birth.”
     — Andrew Sullivan
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Six sex rules

GFC Lessons Not Learnt

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It's never enough

Bottom line: the politics of victimhood always depend on the guilt of others AND avoiding personal responsibility. And no matter what the "guilty" might "sacrifice," it's never enough. Equal rights and equal opportunity is one thing, special privilege because of "past wrongs" is just asking for trouble.
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Not about who is better

It’s not about who is better, it’s about what we can do together.
— NeoWayland
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❝Covington Catholic CLOSES: Lawsuits, Lies & Threats❞ by Roaming Millennial

“Covington Catholic and the MAGA hat kid may sue media figures for libel. The school closes down for safety concerns, and Trump tweets his support for the students...”

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Utopian ideas

Many utopian ideas aren't based in reality and require unwilling sacrifice (otherwise called theft). The utopian definition of injustice is always how society is just evil, without considering that society mostly works. So rather than correcting the injustice, society must be corrected.
— NeoWayland
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❝Stossel: Exposing Students to Free Markets❞ by ReasonTV

“It’s school choice week. Many kids don’t have choice in where they go to school. The school choice movement is trying to give them that opportunity.”

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❝The Truth - Nathan Philips / Covington Catholic Kids❞

“I normally avoid these sort of topics, but after seeing all this footage and all the people trying to destroy these kids lives, I felt like I had to do something.

We all need to do better, stop with this mob mentality over the first thing we see. Remember there's always two sides to a coin.”

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Racial segregation came from Washington

Washington Forced Segregation on the Nation

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❝What is a man? A response to Gillette❞

“A short film - Dedicated to all those who sacrifice everything to make the world safer and better for all of us.”

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Rite to right

I'd argue that the writing was on the wall when marriage was legally defined and moved away from being a religious rite to being a secular right.

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Massive roundup to clear my files

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Era of woke capitalism

tsfpqlrztta21

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Doubts

Doubts raced through my mind as I considered the feasibility of enforcing a law which the majority of honest citizens didn't seem to want.
— Eliot Ness

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“Gillette SLAMS Toxic Masculinity: "Men, Do Better!"”

“A new Gillette commercial tackles toxic masculinity & metoo, but reactions say it's anti-male.”

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NeoNote — Unstable people (and not who you think)

Now, see, I was going to make nice here and just touch on the subject.

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Oversized year change roundup

Union Scum: Seasonal UPS Workers Had Paychecks Taken By Local Teamsters Chapter In Boston



Firm Who Warned America of ‘Russian Meddling’ Caught Running Fake Russia Bot Campaign



Liberal Donor Apologizes For Funding Group That Falsely Claimed Russians Supported Roy Moore In Alabama Senate Race



New Studies Show Pundits Are Wrong About Russian Social-Media Involvement in US Politics



Imagine if We Paid for Food like We Do Healthcare



How Should Facebook (and Twitter, and YouTube, and...) Decide What Speech To Allow?



The angry lawyer who went on a racist rant that went viral got kicked out of his office space — and his week is only getting worse



Angela Merkel: Nation States Must "Give Up Sovereignty" To New World Order



A year after net-neutrality’s repeal, the Internet is alive and well — and faster than ever



A Holiday Mystery: Why Did John Roberts Intervene in the Mueller Probe?



NY police say 'Muslim Community Patrol' car not sanctioned by them



New Documents Suggest The Steele Dossier Was A Deliberate Setup For Trump



Yellow Vests Becoming World Wide Movement



France: Year's 1st yellow vest event brings tear gas, fires



Eminent Domain: The Wall’s Other Problem



Must Writers Be Moral? Their Contracts May Require It



The New Congress and the Rolling Catastrophe of the US Body Politic



Fact check: What's a 'national emergency,' and can Trump declare one to get his wall?



Movies for Libertarians: Little Pink House



House Lawmakers Prepare Rollout Of Gun Control Proposal



Man Sells Junk Guns To Buy-Back Program, Buys New Gun With Cash



The Vaccination Debate

“Now—we have remarkable new information: a respected pro-vaccine medical expert used by the federal government to debunk the vaccine-autism link, says vaccines can cause autism after all. He claims he told that to government officials long ago, but they kept it secret.”

How Medicare For All Could Become the Leading Cause of Death In America



Ginsburg missing Supreme Court arguments for 1st time



Airport Security Lines Grow Across The Nation As TSA Sickout Continues


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You see, I've done this before.

You see, I've done this before. When True Believer Christians told me I was damned and a mortal threat to their children. When conservatives told me that only one way could save the country and anything else threatened their children. When progressives told me that capitalism and individualism were dead and should stay that way for the sake of the children. When well-fed third wave feminists in designer clothes told me about how they were oppressed by the patriarchy and wouldn't have children. When pagans lectured me on the evils of monotheism and how love would save the world. Always, always, ALWAYS the pattern is exactly the same. In the absence of understanding, triviality dominates. The enlightened demand sacrifice from everyone else. "For the children" is for those living and in charge. Anyone who offers an absolute won't brook dissent. Experts are uniquely qualified to fuck the situation up beyond any hope of repair. Government is not your friend.

So you have a chance here to change your behavior, change your pattern and accept responsibility. Your choice.
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Goldwater on religion and politics

There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in 'A,' 'B,' 'C,' and 'D.' Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of 'conservatism.'
— Barry Goldwater, September 16, 1981

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“DRAG QUEEN KIDS: The New Normal?”

“Drag Queen Kid Desmond is Amazing recently danced at a gay bar & Lactatia the 8 year old drag queen has been praised by progressives. Drag Queens are increasingly being invited to speak at schools, so is drag the normal for children?”

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“Stossel: Does Silicon Valley manipulate users?”

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Friday supersized roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Monday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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NeoNote — There is no "Judeo-Christian faith."

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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“Stossel: Google and Facebook Cross "The Creepy Line"”

“Tech companies are compiling incredibly detailed dossiers about you.”

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Choosing the most oppressed

Progressive politics revolves around choosing the most oppressed so that everyone else can be shamed into granting extra privileges to the designated victims.
— from the private journal of NeoWayland
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Wednesday mini-roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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NeoNote — George Soros and anti-Semitism

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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from crux № 5 - making mistakes

LGBT Splinter Group From Migrant Caravan Is The 1st To Arrive In Tijuana

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NeoNote — Someone made the choice for you

Someone else decided that obviously you couldn't be trusted to make the Proper Choice.

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“Victoria's Secret: NO Trans Models!”

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NeoNote — Nature and the World are not cruel.

So does that mean that the Decalogue has no value?

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Libertarians believe

The FedGovs.

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Thursday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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NeoNotes — Abortion

Understand that I am still torn on the subject.

But not every pregnancy results in live birth, even without abortions. Not every pregnancy comes to term.

Under those circumstances, it's hard to call abortion murder or killing babies.



I saw it. I also was treated to a film series in high school called Whatever Happened to the Human Race?

I come from a long line of farming stock. Death happens. It's not pretty. But it's a part of life.

Incidentally, the big reason why the US has a higher infant mortality rate than many other nations is because in other nations babies aren't always counted as "alive" until they've gotten through the first year or so.

There are a great many things that our country does that are not civilized. I'm pretty sure that if I were deciding what is and is not acceptable to society, there would be complaints. Public nudity wouldn't go over well. Neither would removing body parts from those who abuse children.

All that being said, if abortions were not government subsidized, I suspect there would be fewer. I think that is a more workable solution than banning abortions outright.



Well, that depends. For the most part, yes.

But let's acknowledge that is an artificial distinction. For example, my mother, stepsibs, and I in accordance with my stepdad's wishes from years before decided not to extend his life. Those last couple of years, he was on a feeding tube and incapable of communicating. Years before that, he had lost the ability to understand what was going on around him.

So yes, it was a death from willful causes. But at that point, what kind of life was it?

On another board, I've had talks with people with terminal illnesses who were considering assisted suicide.There were also surviving family members of people who had done that. What kind of life was it? Would you want someone to live with pain and having their body fall apart?

This is not a clear issue. We should accept that if nothing else. People die. Babies die. How much do we mourn? How much do we blame?

There's no absolute here. We should stop pretending that there is.



It is a distinction, but I am not convinced it has bearing. It's a while before a baby has awareness of self and even longer before the beginning of language.

I agree it's a fuzzy area and that there are many moral questions that can't be easily answered.

It gets even more complicated when considering the implications. If we accept the sense of self as the defining point of where killing is and is not ethical, what does that say about our companion animals? Or our food animals?



I'm not trying to justify abortion. I'm saying it's not easy to justify outlawing abortion and it raises certain moral issues.

The sense of self is different from perception. Humans develop a sense of self as we mature. We can also lose that sense of self.



Admittedly it is a fuzzy concept and psychologists argue over it. At it's most basic, it's a recognizing the distinction between "I" and "Other." It's a mental framework that probably arises from brain structure. It's the key to individuality.

As a libertarian, I don't give "society" an ethical justification to do squat. That includes ending lives and mandating clothes in public.

Here's the thing, if we do recognize rights, the only workable way is to make those rights individual rights. Not granted because of some label or gifted by government. You have rights because you are an individual and you share those rights with other individuals.

At that point, we're really defining "personhood" by individuality. That means you must be functionally an individual and accept that others are individual too.

Without individuality, we're hunks of flesh with automatic responses. With individuality,we can choose.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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Us versus them

This is the problem.

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“Camille Paglia Explains Why Feminism Is The Collapse Of Western Civilization - MGTOW”

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NeoNote — My favorite party trick

Religions are created by people claiming to speak for the Divine.

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“Brexit Morons”

tip of the hat to Bookworm Room
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“This Border Patrol Agent Resigned After Changing His Mind About Immigration”

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NeoNote — "Race," IQ, and savagery

That is a phenomenally inaccurate and simplistic view.



"Run by blacks…"

They are run by Democrats who have spent the last 50+ years telling minority groups that they are victims and don't have to be responsible.

Gods, the absolute last last thing you should do is blame skin color.

Do you want to make things worse?



Of course you're blaming skin color.

Those "heritable characteristics" vanish when you start adjusting for quality of education, early childhood environment, and family support.

Next time read the disclaimers and qualitifications qualifications.



Yes, yes they do. Check the studies again. Better yet, follow it to the inevitable conclusion. If the "heritable characteristics" exist and are not modified by environmental factors, then by your logic "blacks" are inherently inferior.

Think about that very carefully.



The fact that you are relying on IQ tells me quite a bit.

The IQ tests are culturally biased. What's more, studies from the late 1970s forward have shown that the tests are sub-culturally biased. Those scores are significantly linked to quality of education, early childhood environment, and family support.

Yes, those things I mentioned earlier.

What's more, there's evidence of an inner-city sub-culture that is adamantly against doing well in school or on tests.



Look, here's the problem.

You're defining people by skin color, no matter what their individual accomplishments.

Benjamin Banneker, Frederick Douglass, George Washington Carver, Daniel Hale Williams , Booker T. Washington, James West, John J. Jasper, Daniel "Chappie" James Jr., Thomas Sowell, Huey P. Newton, Carter G. Woodson, W. E. B. Du Bois, Malcolm X, those are just some of the remarkable American men I remember off the top of my head.



Those averages only matter if you've allowed for all other factors.

For example, how many sub-Sararan sub-Saharan nations have a free market based economy? How many recognize the rights of the individual?

I already told you a third theory. There are significant cultural and environmental differences. What's more, put any skin color in unfavorable circumstances and watch how fast the "average" drops.



Unless a government recognizes & defends individual rights, corruption follows as surely as night follows day.

Those white South Africans you mention had special privilege and exploited people because they had the power to do so. When things changed, there was no living memory of anything except special privileges. The corruption stayed and the exploited targets changed.

A version of the same problem is happening in those Democrat controlled cities that you incorrectly insist on labeling "black run." Recognized rights have long given way to special privilege, and no one remembers anything else.



I didn't say anything about it not being their fault. I specifically said Democrats "have spent the last 50+ years telling minority groups that they are victims and don't have to be responsible."

Not so long ago, the Republican idea of race relations was to get out of the way and tell people to take responsibility. That's no longer the case.

I don't care about blame. I just care about fixing the problem. And you are making things worse.

You're making the Democrat case for them. You're saying that "blacks" will fail if left to themselves.



You mean other than the examples I gave you?

If you are interested in statistics, try the upward mobility of "blacks" between 1900 and 1960, before government interfered. The welfare statistics and the rise of single mother families are particularly telling. These have been well documented.

On the whole, two parent households do better over time. When the immediate cost of having children is reduced by government intervention, then a single parent household is less likely to move up the economic ladder.



I told you some of what was necessary for a society's success. Recognition and protection of individual rights. A free market economy. Those things are rare.

Those things are also not dependent on skin color.

I don't recognize "black" societies, I recognize human societies. Almost every single time when someone talks about "black" societies or "black"nations or "black" cities, it's about racism.

There's one race and it's human.



I said no such thing.

I talked about political systems designed to exploit victimhood and grant privilege.

That has almost nothing to do with skin color and everything to do with denying rights.



People designed those systems. Generations of people over centuries, trading, interacting, arguing, fighting, failing, and trying again. It wasn't because of one skin color even if you could define "white."



Because I said that people designed the systems, for good or ill?

Because I pointed out that it took generations?

Because I pointed out that you can't define "white" anymore than you can define "black?"

You lost this one the second you used skin color as a substitute for individual merit.



You haven't managed to identify any significant differences that aren't environmental in nature.

Instead, you keep focusing on skin color, a poor indicator under the best of circumstances.

There are hundreds of other factors, starting with how many parents the child has and if the child is raised in a loving environment. That doesn't even include the social factors I've already touched on.

As long as you focus on skin color, you're just perpetuating the problems.

The only way the question is reduced to a binary condition is by focusing on insignificant measurements such as skin color.



We've already established that IQ is culturally biased. There are also strong indications that IQ is sub-culturally biased as well. That means that part of what IQ measures is cultural conformity.

That's assuming that IQ is a relevant measure of intelligence to begin with. There are theories that one measurement of intelligence isn't nearly enough.

Like it or not, you have to allow for environmental and cultural factors in IQ scores.



Me and about two thirds of the researchers studying the possibility.

I suggest you do a web search for IQ cultural bias.



First, it's not the "warrior gene." A variant is popularly (and inaccurately) referred to as the "warrior gene." Technically the variant produces less MAMO MAOA .

Second, the evidences seems to show that the people with a low level of MAMO MAOA show higher levels of aggression when faced with social stressors such as ostracism, exclusion, or overwhelming loss.

You know, environmental factors.

ETA: Sorry about that, spell check fixed something I didn't want fixed.



With environmental factors, yes.

Would you like a list of genetic variations that are activated by environmental stressors?



I don't lie.

You keep stressing differences that derive from environmental factors.

Yet you keep blaming skin color.



Remember when I mentioned "family support?" Have you accounted for the incredible cultural pressure to succeed at schools and testing?



Yep, Obama was all about skin color. And his solutions worked out just so well for everyone, right?

There's a line I've been throwing around for a couple years now.

There were so many patting themselves on the back and proud that a black man had been elected President that no one bothered to ask if a good man had been elected President.


The politics are a much bigger part of the problem than the skin color.

It's the politics I blame.



And there's your problem.

You think it's about America.

It's about freedom.



Who said anything about pretending it's not there?

I'm disputing why it is there.



Actually I did. I talked briefly about incentivizing single parenthood and telling minorities that they are perpetual victims and how they don't have to take responsibility.



No, it wasn't the same environment.

I specified "telling minorities."

Politics are bad enough, but the politics are of victimhood are just despicable.



Because they don't have the same incentives.

Do you have any idea how much has been written and spoken about this over the last sixty years?

You might start with Goldwater's objections to the 1964 Civil Rights Act.



I believe they are indoctrinated to believe that they could only be victims no matter what.



Talked with more than a few. Slept with a couple.

I'm a bilagáana born on the res. I grew up next to the Diné, the Hopi, and the Havasupai. Spent a lot of time in Phoenix, Tucson, San Diego, and Albuquerque.

Still want to lecture me on the "races?"



Gods, you really are so ignorant that you can't be bothered to do a web search.

Roughly translated, bilagáana means "white man." There's more to it than that, especially for one born on the reservation. I'm what happens when Louisiana farming stock takes root in the Four Corners region.



Check again.

I never denied cultural differences, I just pointed out that they alone don't determine IQ or aggression.



I don't think I've done it in this thread, but I have pointed out that there is one race and it's human.

"Peoples" is a completely different concept and doesn't usually rest on minor genetic differences. The term is slightly more accurate than tribes.

Go back and reread what I wrote on this thread. I started by pointing out that what was being passed off as racial and genetic differences were actually due to environmental and cultural factors.



Ah, someone is making the right points.

First, IQ is not an objective measurement. One of my favorite examples is the Diné, their culture doesn't recognize time and distance as linear. With the possibility of multiple intelligences, things get more complicated. Gross motor coordination doesn't translate to spatial mathematical. Yes, I know the theory has problems like leaving out fine motor control, but this isn't the place.

We've not defined intelligence very well. There's a difference between following a recipe and walking in a kitchen just to whip up amazing food. IQ tests look for proven solutions, not for that creative spark. Sometimes that mostly works, sometimes not.

One set of parents can produce a musical genius, a good accountant, and a total slacker. It's impossible to say if a specific genetic line might produce. We know from domesticated animals that some traits will probably breed true, but we have to allow for environment and chance. We can't say that this family always produces good Rotarians and never any gamers. We can't say that every puppy from that Labrador will be good with kids. If you expand it to a group, the uncertainty grows too.



Interesting. You get to keep your preconceptions but I have to give mine up.

Okay, let's go back to basics. Part of science is eliminating variables.

The people we're comparing, are they on the same economic level? Did they have the same number of parents? Did they attend the same or comparable schools? Are they married? Do they have the same number of kids? Is their debt level the same? Is their education level the same? Do they live in the same or comparable neighborhoods?

We know that every single one of these environmental factors can influence someone's mental abilities, their tastes, their chosen activities, and their obligations.

And these are just the big ones.

Otherwise you're comparing apples from last year to next year's bananas. There's no way to establish a baseline.

There's no real comparison until you can account for most of the major variables.



I'm telling you (again) that until you can account for environmental differences, your measurements are useless.

There's a difference between a Walmart special and a finely made bookshelf. You can't just say that the one that is forty-one inches wide is better than the thirty-five inch one. You don't have enough information to judge.



It's a trick question.

It presupposes that there aren't any other variables that matter.

At the very least, acknowledge that the quality of schools makes a difference.

Mona Lisa Vito: It's a bullshit question.

D.A. Jim Trotter: Does that mean that you can't answer it?

Mona Lisa Vito: It's a bullshit question, it's impossible to answer.

D.A. Jim Trotter: Impossible because you don't know the answer!

Mona Lisa Vito: Nobody could answer that question!

D.A. Jim Trotter: Your Honor, I move to disqualify Ms. Vito as a "expert witness"!

Judge Chamberlain Haller: Can you answer the question?

Mona Lisa Vito: No, it is a trick question!

     — My Cousin Vinny


From my second response to you on this thread, I've pointed out again and again that you can not eliminate cultural and environmental factors.

The differences that you chose to highlight directly resulted in part from the culture and environment.

These are facts that we know and can easily be verified through a web search.

Children from single parent households tend to do worse at school and hold lower paying jobs.

Children from abusive households tend to do worse at school and hold lower paying jobs.

Single parent households tend to stay at lower income levels.

Some schools fail so much that most of their students can't read, write, or do basic math.

If children don't have enough to eat, they don't do well in school.

If people don't have shelter, they tend to have more health problems.

How much did environment and culture play a part? There is no way to know unless you can eliminate variables.

There's no comparison unless you can account for most of the major variables. This is true in science. This is true in statistics. This is true in life.

Your question makes no sense because there can be no comparison.



But you haven't presented evidence.

You've gone out of your way to dismiss the very idea that the culture and environment can have any possible influence on the differences you chose to highlight.

All you've done is lay out a premise that presupposes that no other factors can change what you choose to measure.

It's not science. It's not statistics. It's not even logically verifiable.

It's just prejudice.



You don't have evidence. You have observation, but you haven't shown cause or correlation because you have not allowed for environmental and cultural factors.

It's not even a matter of "interpretation." You've deliberately chosen one measurement and claimed that it defines the whole discussion. Can you say selection bias?



You can put tomato seeds in a salt shaker for nine months. That doesn't mean you'll be harvesting.



But I don't blame skin color at all. That's when I talk about this at all. Most people don't want to deal with uncomfortable truths.

I talk about politics, history, and the lies of government. Also basic economics and self-ownership.



Self-ownership and responsibility are a big part of what I write and talk about.

I also talk about strategy that exploits the politics of victimhood. I point out that the people who don't accept those lies from politicos and technocrats do better over time. Usually better than their parents. Which used to be a measurement of success in this nation.

A significant number of politicos (easily more than half) use the message that people are victims and their friend, the government, can help.

I tell people that government is not your friend, no matter how much the politicos say that it is.

That's not making excuses. That's showing that most politicos want problems they can stage manage. The politicos can't do that by solving problems.



It's a loaded question.

The premise is insufficient.



Neighbor, you're telling me that I am dealing in absolutes when I just listed seven major variables that we know affect intelligence and ability. These variables change everybody no matter what their skin color, nationality, sex, or ice cream preference.



I can stop you with nothing more than a few words.

Think about it. You're taking offense at what I write on a website when all I am really saying is "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…"

You would deny that?



I'm not defending today's mess.

I've written against it.

But (and this is the important bit), you're still defining people by skin color instead of what they are individually.

There's a phrase about "content of their character" that comes to mind.



I know, you keep defining people by skin color.



Tell me, what nationality are "blacks?"

If a "Chinese" has been granted American citizenship, when does he stop being "Chinese?" Three seconds after? Three generations? When he changes his name to Jones?

If Jesus Fernandez was born in Michigan and barely speaks Spanish, is he "Mexican?"

Or American?



I didn't say anything about stopping the Left with words.

I said I could stop you.

And I have.



Think you so?

Look at what's happened.

I've held my own against you and your "friend." Along the way, we've discussed history, psychology, morality, biology, and ethics. We've done it in real time for a few hours, and right now you are focused on taking me down, not in proving that "blacks" are inferior.

And all you can do is tell me that I don't deserve my citizenship.

You got stopped.



"The fact that blacks are not us."

Pretty sure my neighbors would disagree. Pretty sure your neighbors would too.



"Wait until your neighbors are Hindus, Muslims, Mexicans, or Asians."

Um, they are.



I could ask my across-the-street neighbor, but I'm pretty sure she's happy with her husband. I don't know their kids that well.



Because they are us.

The commonalities outweigh the differences.

These barriers, these labels that people like you keep using, they separate us. The labels keep us apart.

Those are the same stars, and that is the same moon, that look down upon your brothers and sisters, and which they see as they look up to them, though they are ever so far away from us, and each other.
     — Sojourner Truth


The Hopi are surrounded by all sides by the Diné. Can you tell me the genetic differences between the Hopi and the Diné? Good luck, because they've been intermarrying for a long time.

So what are their national characteristics?

As I said, I'm an American. I'm a mix. Part of my ancestry is Irish, part of it is English, part of it is Creole, part of it is German, part of it is Russian, and there's probably stuff on both sides of the bed that isn't officially acknowledged.

What are my national genetic characteristics?

I'm pretty sure I could father a child with any fertile human female if we tried hard enough. That's sort of how the species works.

And that's the important thing. We're one species, one "race." Throw us together and those distinctions fade. We get down and funky. We rut. We mix our genes.

It doesn't stop there. Ideas mix too. We argue with each other. We try to one up each other. We try. We look at what the other guy is doing. We borrow what works and tweak it a bit.

Synchronicity and syncretism happen, no matter how much you want "purity."



I'm not trying to change the labels.

I'm pointing out the truths.

Those labels are controlling your life.



"Truth and lies don't miscegenate."

Miscegenation has nothing to do with truth and lies and everything to do with sex and children.

Truth is subject to change. There was a time when people thought the speed of light was infinite. Now we know it's about 186,000 miles per second. In a vacuum. Put it through an atmosphere or water and it's something else.

We're human. That humanity matters more than any "racial" difference. It's why there are children of "mixed race." As time and people go on, the differences fade.

Until we meet a new population and it starts all over again.

I don't lie. I serve veritas.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

Comments

Community

Years ago I came up with a crazy tax scheme that was so nutty it might work. Here's the revised version.

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NeoNote — The Label™

There are valid criticisms against Trump. But he's made his career on bad press.

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“Yep, a Trump Pet.”

People can do most things on their own without government help, direction, or control.

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“Should We Ban Plastic Straws?”

“Will Witt went to Santa Barbara to ask people what they thought of the new law banning plastic straws. Check it out!”

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NeoNote — Dualistic viewpoint

I'm not something less, I'm something else.

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NeoNote - Responding to another Bookworm rant

Okay, time number three. We've been through this twice before.

For something with no moral relativism, there's an awful lot or relative morality going on. Of course there's the Catholic Church mess going on in Pittsburg right now. Granted, that was priests breaking the laws of "God" and man. But there are plenty of other examples.

Child labor used to be not only allowed, but justified by people quoting the Bible. Women were denied property rights and the right to vote. Slavery was justified and encouraged before some good people decided that not only was it wrong but it should be abolished.

You cite the Decalogue, but number one on that list denies any other religion or faith system. Using that, at best non-Christians (okay, non-Abrahamics) exist only at the sufferance of their "betters," to be indulged as children and tolerated for their misunderstanding.

If there is one thing I wish I could literally pound into Christian heads, it's this: Christianity is not the source of all that is good and righteous in our society. Other cultures and other faiths have contributed heavily. It's amazing that I even have to mention this where one house of the national legislature is called the Senate and the other has a ceremonial fasces. Syncretism happens and we're better for it.

We're not measured by our faith, but how we treat others. There is this urge particularly among evangelical Christians to meddle in the lives of others. You yourself cite "the" Native American experience. It wasn't "the," different tribes and groups were treated differently. Usually that led to stealing land, women, and children. Not to mention Indian wars, relocation, and reservations. How is that higher morality? Yet the American treatment of "Indians" was usually justified by Bible quotes.

I could go on and on but I won't. The vice or virtue is in the individual, not the label. By pagan lights, monotheisms have their own sins which they seldom answer for.

Yet there is hope. The "Golden Rule" is the true keystone of Western civilization. It exists in many faiths and cultures. Arguably it is core of the best ethical civilizations. Applied correctly, it can do everything that your Judeo-Christian values can. And we won't be arguing over whose morality should be "in charge."
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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Making the personal political

The problem with making the personal political is that you drag everyone around you into politics, whether they want to be or not.
     — NeoWayland
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Taking on terrorists

There are two basic kinds of terrorists. The amateurs will be deterred or detected by even basic security measures. The professionals will figure out how to evade even the most stringent measures. I've repeatedly said that the two things that have made flying safer since 9/11 are reinforcing the cockpit doors and persuading passengers that they need to fight back. Everything beyond that isn't worth it.
     — Bruce Schneier, Don't Fear the TSA Cutting Airport Security. Be Glad That They're Talking about It.

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Conditions

There's a vast difference between a character who happens to be X and a X character.

The emphasis should be on character, not the label. Character is about the human condition, the label is about the labeled condition.

Next, it's acting. Fictional. If the actor is good enough, they can play the heavy and the hero. They can play the pauper and the prince. And they can play whatever sexual orientation is necessary.
     — NeoWayland
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“Make Men Masculine Again”

The "millennial whoop" and other problems.

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“Rowan Atkinson on Freedom of Speech”

tip of the hat to Samizdata

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Censorship & corporate virtue signalling

So the big news is that Apple decided to remove the Alex Jones Infowars podcasts. YouTube and Facebook followed. Twitter did not.

Alex Jones is wrong almost all the time. He's not worth your time or mine. Infowars is not a good source.

Absolutely these companies have the right to decide who does and does not use their platform. It's their money after all.

But they are hypocrites when they declare that they support free speech while applying selective censorship. Especially if they allow the Islamist, the anti-semitic, the anti-conservative, the antifa, and the anti-white stuff to stay on their platforms.

That's the problem with hate speech. Somehow it's always about what the other guy said, never about what you said.

And all this still overlooks the obvious. If someone doesn't like what is in a podcast or a video, they don't have to pay attention.

Demanding it's removal for the greater good is the coward's way out. It means you don't trust someone to make their own choices. You want to meddle. You wouldn't stand for it if someone else did it to you.

People should choose for themselves. Corporations have lousy morals.

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Insult

A gentleman will not insult me, and no man not a gentleman can insult me.
     — Frederick Douglass

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Republican racism

Most of the claims of Republican racism are because the Republicans involved didn't see any reason to grant special privilege when people already had rights recognized by law.
     — NeoWayland
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Degradation

If you wonder where radfems got the idea that they are living in an unforgiving patriarchy, a rape society, a "man's world" that degrades women, it's because that's the way their "allies" have treated them.

They just think it's everyone.
     — NeoWayland
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NeoNote — Online monopolies

No, they are not monopolies.

When I sit down at a computer, I don't have to go through Facebook to check the weather or see what is happening at this site. If I wanted to message someone on my iPod or iPad, I don't have to use Twitter.

With AT&T, if you were in an area covered you had no choice. It was your regional Bell company and AT&T or nothing. The breakup fixed that, you could choose your phone company. And today, if I am not in range of the right cell tower, my phone still works as long as I am in range of a cell tower.

Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple, all got big by offering something the competition did not have. No one was forced. Competition is the only way to reduce their hold. And the competition, like all competition, has to offer something more than "just as good as."

For a while, iOS and macOSX had software hooks so that Facebook and Twitter had easier access. That's no longer necessarily true, some of Apple's customers didn't want their data shared by companies that weren't trustworthy.

Government intervention is the last thing we need. There are already politicos who complain about "fake news" that isn't fake, it's just not what the politicos want you to think about. From the news in the last couple of days, it seems Twitter is going after conservative and libertarian users. Do we really want a world where government decides what may and may not be said?

Oh, one other thing. Monopolies rely on government support and intervention. Start regulating and you just planted a monopoly.



I agree it's a mess.

To get a site, you have to register a domain name. Then you have to get server space. If you use a company like Wordpress, you agree to carry their ads on your site in exchange for a reduced rate or free use on their server space. If you go on your own, you find a web host (like MacHighway) and you have more control over the site and advertising.

Think of it like a storefront that you have to rent. Depending on the terms of the lease, that is how much service your "landlord" provides and how much you provide to your visitors.

If Twitter provides the ability to block people you don't like, I agree that it should be available to ALL users. But the platform is not public property. The "landlord" can block out who they want when they want. But they shouldn't be shielded from the consequences of their actions. They are liable if they provide different services and benefits to their users. If it's a "free" service, then all "free" users should have the same benefits as all other "free" users. The "landlord" can ban conservatives, but if they allow conservatives (or one specific high profile conservative), then that person should have the same rights and benefits.

ETA: The real question is if the platform should ban offensive content and how that should be defined.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

Comments

“Damnatio Memoriae, or How to Erase Someone from History”

“How do you remove the memory of a particularly bad emperor from the history books? Or what if your brother is just so annoying that you can't stand the sight of him anymore, and don't want to share power? You perform a damnatio memoriae, erase all inscriptions, destroy all public images, and pretend as if he never existed.”

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Labels

The problem with attacking the label is that there are always remarkable individuals far beyond the box you try to cram them into. Nor are they the exception to the rule.
     — NeoWayland
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NeoNote — Socialism, fairness & choice

There was a late night bull session I attended. One very drunk person announced, very authoritatively, "Socialism is jealousy."

Then she passed out.

She may have had a point.



I'll go you one farther. There are studies that show primates have a strong sense of fairness. Some other studies show the fairness idea is linked to play in wolves and coyotes. I've seen speculation but no mention of studies that the idea exists in elephants as well. Taken together, these may indicate that it is part of the biology, at least for social animals.



I'd say it relies on control and orientation in time. Given that it's extremely difficult to control other's behavior except through force, someone who is past-orientated will choose coercion and false signals. Especially if their behavior was controlled in the past.

Future orientation and risk taking are more likely to depend on cooperation. Especially if one doesn't have the resources to pull off the future alone.

Going forward, power with beats power over. But someone stuck in the past won't see that. As for the "leaders," they're gaming the system and don't practice what they preach. "But just do as I say, don't do as I do," as the old Genesis song says.



Everyone who lives in America is a socialist to some degree.

True. But did they choose, or was it chosen for them "for the greater good?" In many cases before they were born? Did they ever have an alternative choice? Were they even allowed to think about it?

That's how socialism works. It's always involuntary except for those calling the shots.

It’s just that the rank and file among us don’t have $12 billion to buy votes from farmers we’ve screwed over.

If he had bought votes, the farmers wouldn't be screwed, would they? You've moved beyond mixing metaphors here, you're mixing conspiracy theories.



Your premise about vote buying is wrong. There's plenty to criticize about Trump's tariff strategy (which I've done), but there was no vote buying. That's the problem with most of the accusations against Trump. The loudest people ignore what Trump has done and blame him for things he hasn't done. You can't buy votes after the fact. And you keep overlooking all the other people adversely affected by the tariffs.

I used the word choosing because we are supposed to live in a representative government. Socialism removes choice. Socialism removes freedom. Socialism removes prosperity. The only reason why the United States works economically is because of the partial free market. The free market works. The free market works better than anything else in history. The only reason Americans can afford even partial socialism is because of the abundance produced by the free market.

So are Americans socialist? Yes, but not from choice. Someone had to do it to them. Someone had to lie to them about what they could get. Someone else had to pay the bills. Would Americans choose socialist programs? I don't think they would if they understood the costs.

I didn't claim you wrote anything about choice. I asked about choice. That's not words in your mouth, that's a question you don't want to answer.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

Comments

“The Strange Death of Comedy”

“Tell a joke now and who knows who you might offend? Identity politics is taking the fun out of just about everything. This is – no fooling – a very serious problem. Actor/Comedian Owen Benjamin explains why and what needs to be done about it”

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NeoNote — Pandering

Since the last time I read your stuff, I've been racking my brain to remember any libertarians who "pandered" to pedophiles. I can't remember any. "Consenting adults" is a big priority.

As for "pandering" to homosexuals, well, we also "pander" to Jews, women, Rotarians, Red Sox fans, and classic car owners. Not to mention people with piercings, people with tattoos, people with nine toes, and almost anyone else you can name.

If you're threatened by "live and let live," by all means run away.



These are two different issues. The only one that I'm denying is that libertarians pander to pedophiles.

You want to use it as the modern political equivalent of blood libel.

It's probably because I am pagan, but I've found keeping minors at an arm's length when it comes to religion and sexuality solves more problems than it causes. It's one of those necessary compromises that keeps neighbors.



I think you'll find that most small "l" libertarians like me consider it a minor issue, if at all.

I will point out that the laws are not self consistent. Driving at 16 (some farm states allowed it at 14 in rural areas), voting and draft eligibility at 18, drinking age of 21, well, those are just some of the best known examples.

I've pointed out before that the whole extended childhood thing is mostly a post WWII American urban phenomena. Attitudes towards "child brides" were very different a few generations ago.



Can you tell me what the "American" position is on taxes? Does every single American agree with that? What about public schools? And immigration?

I call myself libertarian with a small "l" because when I say "classic liberal" most folks in the U.S. don't know what I am talking about. It has nothing to do with a political party and everything to do with liberty.

I believe that the freedom to choose is the mark of an adult human. Make of that what you will.



Classic liberalism predates the founding of the American republic. That is why I distinguish between "Libertarianism" and "libertarianism." Big "L" versus small "l." Party platform versus individual responsibility.

If you'll look closely at what I've written, I've always stressed "consenting adults" when it comes to sexual practices.

I pointed out that even the All Wise Forces of Government & Society® can't decide when a child is responsible or not.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

Comments

“Jinx the Anarchist Sex Worker Goes to Washington”

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NeoNote — What makes a hate crime worse?

For years, I've asked the question what makes a "hate crime" worse than another crime for the same offense. I've never gotten a straight answer.

Well, here it is. "Hate crimes" are absolutely justified if it's for the correct reason. Thou shalt not dissent from the approved narrative. Victims are victims unless they strike out against the Man as declared by progressive experts. And collective victimhood counts, especially if it acts against collective oppression. The individual MUST be subservient to the label, all in the name of The Greater Good and to Protect the Children.

So now we know. If it offends progressives, anything is justified so feelings can be protected and any questionable behavior can be ruthlessly suppressed.

Yep, definitely about the hate there.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

Comments

Greed

It is amazing how many of the intelligentsia call it 'greed' to want to keep what you have earned, but not greed to want to take away what somebody else has earned, and let politicians use it to buy votes.
     — Thomas Sowell
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Fair share

Since this is an era when many people are concerned about 'fairness' and 'social justice,' what is your 'fair share' of what someone else has worked for?
     — Thomas Sowell
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Sounded good

Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good.
     — Thomas Sowell
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Equality

If you cannot achieve equality of performance among people born to the same parents and raised under the same roof, how realistic is it to expect to achieve it across broader and deeper social divisions?
     — Thomas Sowell
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Politics of shame

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Demonic realms

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Bright ideas

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Invasion

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Snitch culture

Social justice is a surveillance culture, a snitch culture. The constant vigilance on the part of my colleagues and friends did me in. That’s why I’m delivering sushi and pizza. Not that I’m complaining. It’s honest work, and it’s led me to rediscover how to interact with people in the real world. I am a kinder and more respectful person now that I’m not regularly on social media attacking people for not being “kind” and “respectful.”
     — Barrett Wilson, I Was the Mob Until the Mob Came for Me

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“The TRUTH About Abortion & Sex”

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Weighing benefits against costs

Weighing benefits against costs is the way most people make decisions – and the way most businesses make decisions, if they want to stay in business. Only in government is any benefit, however small, considered to be worth any cost, however large.
     — Thomas Sowell
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Great and destructive evil

More and more I'm convinced that one of the greatest and most destructive evils humanity has produced is Meddling For Your Own Good.
     — NeoWayland, Discussion on morality, sex, nudity, and pagan festivals
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“Stossel: Plastic Straw Myths”

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FamousFeminist

New publication makes it easier

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Racism

The word ‘racism’ is like ketchup. It can be put on practically anything — and demanding evidence makes you a ‘racist.’
     — Thomas Sowell
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Personal responsibility

To believe in personal responsibility would be to destroy the whole special role of the anointed, whose vision casts them in the role of rescuers of people treated unfairly by ‘society.’
     — Thomas Sowell
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Second wave feminism

I suspect that many other problems that second and third wave feminists faced happened because certain men took advantage. These (sleaze ball) men said the appropriate things, acted properly in public, and attended the right meetings. But it was all a show, manipulating the second wavers into sex and other things. Then these certain (scumbag) men went on to their next conquests all while convincing everyone else that they supported women and feminism. The third wave misandry that followed was a natural reaction.
     — NeoWayland, feminism (second wave)
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My theory

Unfortunately I keep finding more and more proof for my theory. Practically the only reason "male feminists" exist is so they can take advantage of feminists. Exceptions are so very hard to find.
     — NeoWayland
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NeoNote — Abortion

Abortion is one of those things I have mixed feelings on.

First, even in this modern day, every pregnancy may not result in live birth, even with the best actions of the parents and the doctors. I say this because many conservatives act as if it were not so.

Second, even a potential human life should be more than gulp-a-pill and POOF it's gone. Assuming the sex is consensual, there is no reason that both partners should not take precautions if they don't want a child.

Third, Unless it's with me, who you have sex with, how you have sex, and how many times you have sex is frankly none of my business. Likewise, unless it is sex with me, I'm not responsible for the consequences.
— NeoWayland's lexicon, sex

Fourth, no agency or entity that receives taxpayer funds should provide abortion or abortion counseling. I know they'll say that taxpayer funds are never used for either, but providing any money just frees other funds for those uses. It's one of those legal fictions that lets politicos skirt responsibility.

Fifth, there is a right of privacy, although not as defined by Roe vs. Wade. It's there in the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, Tenth, and (yes) the Fourteenth Amendments.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

Comments

We've regressed

Given how some absolutely insist that any accusations of sexual impropriety must be treated as unquestioned truth, I'd argue that we've regressed.

Sometimes people lie. I don't think that is very hard to understand. We shouldn't base justice on lies. That's not hard to understand either.
     — NeoWayland
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NeoNote — Shame

You are aware that you just tried to shame me into keeping quiet and not offer a dissenting opinion, aren't you?

It's only shame if I accept the premise.

I did not deny that discrimination and oppression takes place.

Now, let's look at what I actually did.

I said people had tried to shame and shun me because of my sexuality, faith, and politics.

You know, like you tried to do.

I didn't proclaim my victimhood gave me the power to command others.

You know, like you tried to do.

It's only shame if I accept the premise.

I refuse to give blanket special privilege because of proclaimed victimhood.

If an individual wants help, I'll give what I think I can. If a vague class demands constant unquestioned deference because of some poorly defined list of potential offenses that may have been committed on alternate Tuesdays, I'll probably laugh.

The World needs heroes more than it needs victims.

I despise the politics of victimhood. That always ALWAYS means a hierarchy and oh so carefully deciding who has it worse. It's never about injustice, it's about injustice shown to a particular class. Injustice against other groups gets downplayed if not ignored entirely.

For example, I gave three reasons. You picked sex sexuality. Not just sex sexuality, but sexual politics as it applies to your letter salad. So heterosexual feminists don't rate high on your victim scale. And you treated all those carefully defined letters as One Monolithic Block, as if the needs and desires of the transfolks matched those of the gay bears.

You're not a hero because someone hurt your feelings or didn't give you what you thought you deserved. Heroes overcome adversity.



Yes, you did attempt to shame me. It's kafkatrapping, specifically invoking model A and model C. It was old when Alinsky wrote about it, under a different name of course. The goal of shaming is to morally prevent me from speaking or writing. It attempts to manipulate guilt of both the target and the spectators.

You're right, I don't know you. Nor should what you have experienced have any influence on my behavior. Unless you're expecting my guilty pity to overcome my beliefs and self-interest.

Even now you are ranking comparative victimhood as if that is what defines people. That is what intersectionality does, isn't it? It's all about the victimhood. Emphasizing the victimhood isn't going to do anything except create a pity party. It's not particularly healthy and it isn't a practical solution.

There are radical feminists who routinely try to shame and shun men all the time. Starting with allegations that America is a "rape culture" and that any PIV sex is rape by it's very nature.

You'll never get social justice because people don't agree on what it means.

You obviously don't know me or you'd know that I carefully think about everything I write. I pride myself on it. You have a problem in that my thoughts don't slavishly follow what you think is important.

I've seen people called heroes over hurt feelings. So have you. I've also seen people cashing in on the ordeals of others. So have you.

You chose to respond to my post. I had done you no harm. All I did was challenge your belief. You don't know who I am or what I've done. You don't know who I've helped or who I've hurt. All you know is that you think I should not be allowed to speak or write my opinion.



Pardon, but you're deigning to respond so you can prove a point. You're not doing me any favors and the act comes across a little hollow.

Yes, you did try to shame me. You're not the first or thirteenth or thousandth person to try. You don't get to set the terms of my shame.

Of course I want a better world. What I may not want is a better world on your terms. That's not because of my politics, it's because I'm human.

Yep, I did bring up self-interest because it's a major reason for people's behavior. You're not having this discussion because you're feeling selfless. You've convinced yourself you're doing it for the Greater Good.

Speaking of self-interests, one reason why private alternatives become better, cheaper, and faster is because of competition. A public program doesn't have the incentive to improve so it can keep and get more business. But that is a long subject well beyond the scope of this discussion. I will point out that if something is cheaper and more available, that means that more people can get it if they want it.

I'll also point out that the free market, voluntary transactions between consenting adults, has done more to raise people out of poverty than anything else in history.

Just so you know, I was born on the Navajo reservation and I've spent much of my life near it or the Hopi reservation. I've also lived in Phoenix, Tucson, Los Angeles, Provo, and Albuquerque among other places. I know about "people of color," but mine go beyond your definition.

And that brings us up to women, doesn't it? I knew my first strong woman from before I was born. Your issue here is not that I don't have empathy, it's that I don't have the empathy that you approve of. Actually the radical feminists I was talking about called themselves third and fourth wave. When I can, I regularly seek out people who disagree with me. No one person and certainly no one group has all the answers.

I didn't pass judgement on sexual assault and harassment. I said that power from victimhood is not a good thing and heroes overcome adversity.

You yourself cited the experiences of others to justify fighting injustice. So yes, you're cashing in and you know people who have done so.

You chose to confront my "hypocrisy" but you haven't proven it. It may not match your opinion, but that is a different issue.

By the way, asserting that I have a "privileged position" is kafkatrapping Model P.

Isn't it interesting how you can tell me that my ideas are flawed but you think I can't tell you the same?

Before you proclaim that US Aid is the answer to all the World's problems, you might ask yourself how much of it actually gets through the many corrupt levels of government? That's the essence of libertarianism you see. It's not that we don't care, we just don't see government as an effective way to deliver what needs to be done.

If I see a victim, I don't want them to stay a victim.

I didn't put the web addy up for you.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.
Comments

It's only shame if I accept the premise.

It's only shame if I accept the premise.

As I see it, the vice or virtue isn't in the label. It's in how you touch the lives of others. The honor is in giving truth when needed, helping when you can, and leaving the World a little better than how you found it.
     — NeoWayland, comments from Column: What of the Christians?
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Run out of people

What I'd like to point out is that if you keep throwing people you don't agree with into the "Them" pile, you're going to run out of people in the "Us" pile.

And no, I don't include myself in your "Us" pile.

Disagreements happen. People should decide if they want a Grand Crusade where every one agrees (or is afraid to disagree) and nothing gets done. Or maybe where you go for the smaller battles that you can win with allies, instead of waiting for perfection.
     — NeoWayland
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Mutual consent

Mutual consent is the only factor I've found that makes any sense.

I would no more try to control someone's sexual activities than I would try to control their diet or clothing. And for pretty much the same reason. Now I personally may not prefer sheep's brains or orange polka dots on purple plaid, but that gives me no reason to stop the other guy.
     — NeoWayland
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Religion enshrined in law

I'm not demanding that you give up your faith.

I'm asking why religion should be enshrined in law.

Faith is between you and the Divine, no other person can change that. It's up to you and your choices.

I'm asking for no sacrifice unless you believe that your religion should govern the faith and religion of others.

And if that's the case, I'm asking why.
     — NeoWayland
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Wholly remarkable

The U.S. Constitution doesn't mention the Christian God except in the date.

It's wholly remarkable in that it may well be the first document in history that didn't claim government power derived from the Divine.

Men of faith and men of reason deliberately chose not to make a public declaration of religion even as they acknowledged it's role in individual action.

They knew that faith must be chosen, not compelled.
     — NeoWayland
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Right choice

I think the mark of an adult is the ability to make the right choice without the threat of punishment. Or perhaps despite it.

We know that's possible. Under the right circumstances, we even revere the people who did that as saints and heroes.
     — NeoWayland
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Law is not moral

The law is not moral.

That's up to us humans.

(Apologies if I offended any nascent AIs)
     — NeoWayland
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Deliberately forgetting

Pardon, the shooter took advantage of circumstance. It doesn't take much to look around and see where you might kill the most.

I still think we'd be better off if as a society we deliberately didn't publicize the names of these shooters. The notoriety is part of what drives them.

Imagine listing all their victim's names and deliberately forgetting the twisted scum who did it. He sacrificed his humanity to be famous, let him be forgotten.
     — NeoWayland
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“Good men must not obey the laws too well.”

Good men must not obey the laws too well.
     — Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Rabble rousing

The secret to rabble rousing is not chewing the scenery, it's getting the crowd to chew the scenery.
     — NeoWayland
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NeoNote — Religion & government

WH, you are way off base with your opinion about Islam having no Constitution protections. Religion is between you and the Divine and no one else.

That being said, *ahem*





It may be a religion, but if it relies on force, any and all opposition is justified. And if someone chooses to walk away, that's their right.

If your religion depends on force, you're doing it wrong.



That's not your place to decide. And Story was wrong.

If you start excluding religions from protection, sooner or later someone else is going to exclude yours. No other nation has America's pluralism. It's what threatens all monotheistic Islam. Religious choice is exactly that, choice,

On the other hand, we must insist on an even playing ground. Islam gets no special treatment and no special protections.

I'd be perfectly happy seeing a law that required anyone, regardless of faith, who participated in an honor killing or female genital mutilation to be executed, wrapped in pigskin, boiled with pig dung, and buried under a pig farm. Of course, the pigs might object…



Religion is a hot button topic for me, if for no other reason than I have had Christians use theirs against me, and tell me in no uncertain terms that any religion except Christianity should not be allowed. I'm related to some of those people.

Story himself specifically excluded Judaism. Which is interesting considering (among other things) the history of the Newport, Rhode Island Hebrew Congregation.

Here's what both you and Story are completely overlooking. The English Civil War was relatively recent. No proto-American wanted another church telling their church what to do. But that is minor. No, the big thing is that for the very first time (that we know of) in the history of Western Civilization, the defining document did not say that government power derived from the Divine. Except for the date, there is no mention of any god in the Constitution.

The SCT made a mistake with the Mormon ruling. It wouldn't be the first or last time that the Court goofed. Kelo v. New London comes to mind, as does Pace v. Alabama. There is nothing in the Constitution that gives the Federal government authority over marriage, and certainly nothing that gives it authority over religion. Under the Tenth (and yes, I know politicos love to ignore the Tenth), that means the no power, period.

Most importantly, there were many things that did not exist in 1791. Radio, automobiles, telegraph, and baseball come to mind. There were many things that were unknown in 1791. No American had seen the Mariana Trench, the Grand Canyon, Mount McKinley, or a coyote.



Story was commenting well after the fact, he was not a signatory to either the DOI or Constitution. The fact that he excluded Judaism reflects on him and not the Founders. Jews may have been a minority faith, but they were a well established faith.

Using law to force the rules of your religion was wrong then and it is wrong now. I'm sure you'd object if Muslim prayer calls were enforced in American law, or if Kosher dietary restrictions were part of the legal system. Almost all of the mala prohibita laws have a religious basis. It's no secret that I believe most of the problems in American society are because of too much government and mala prohibita laws. If your religion says no shopping on Sunday or no selling liquor, that's up to you. Using the law to restrict other's choices based on your religion, well, that doesn't say much for your faith.

Start respecting the "commonalities of Christianity" and you're going to fast approach respecting the commonalities of faith. The Ethic of Reciprocity or "Golden Rule" is the keystone of Western Civilization. It is arguably the single most important and universal basis for human advancement and is the basis for all true liberty. But it did not begin with Judaism or Christianity.

Once you eliminate specific mentions of any god, pluralism between sects pretty much leads to pluralism between religions. It may have been an accident. I suspect some of those Deists took a hand, or pen as it were.

I can't stress that enough. That simple idea takes religion and religious choice out of the public sphere and puts it back into individual behavior where it belongs. The teachings of a faith should matter only to the individual, not to the state. I don't want a Congresscritter demanding that I observe the Christian sabbath, any more than you want another Congresscritter demanding that you participate in ritual sex with same sex partners under the next full moon. And no, I don't do that.

Because that sets up the next bit. Radical Islam demands that the state require and prohibit according to the interpretation of the imams. The state becomes an extension of Islam. There is no provision for other faiths except in very subservient ways. The state becomes religion.

The ideas of liberty expressed in the Constitution reflect the universal ideals well beyond "Judeo-Christianity." Parts of it originated with the ancient Greeks and the Roman Republic as you've pointed out. It's a good idea because it works and not because of it's origins.

When the Founders wanted to limit freedom, be it slavery, restricting the vote to male landowners, or originally not enumerating human rights, it was wrong and it failed miserably. There was no way the Founders could foresee what would follow. We celebrate the universality, the protection of liberty from government and those who would abuse government power.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.



It's not your place to decide if you require others to sacrifice their freedom for yours. And as a citizen of this country, that's something I will defend fight against.

Constitutional America was not founded as a Christian nation. Nations are not Christian, individuals are. Yes, even the nations with established churches. Just as one very obvious example, nations can't participate in the Christian rite of communion. If a "Christian nation" goes to war, does that mean that Jeshua ben Joseph signed the marching orders?

Story may have been closer chronologically, but that doesn't mean he was right. I've already told you the biggest piece of evidence. The Constitution clearly states that political power comes from the people and not the Divine. This was unheard of, as far as we know it had never happened before.

Protecting rights means protecting people from the whims of the majority. You don't stop having freedom of speech because your city voted for "free speech" zones.

As I explained to WH above, radical Islam means that the state becomes an extension of Islam. Pluralism is pretty much the only thing that can resist that and not become tyranny.

Radical Islam is depending on special privileges and protections not granted to others. They can't do it on a level playing field.

Since the practices I mentioned are exclusive to the more radical versions of Islam, then the rest of us don't have to fear that punishment, do we?



Story was still wrong on this. Veritas. No one person, no one group has all the answers. I distrust anyone who says that they do. I refer back to the source document. The Constitution remains one of the clearest pieces of English ever put to paper. There are reasons why the Founders, some of the best educated people of their time, deliberately chose not to include the Christian Deity in the Constitution. It's not because of their faith. It's not because they were not pious. It's because they didn't trust men when they claimed to speak for the Divine.

Religion can not be allowed the coercive power of the state and the state can not be allowed the moral justification of faith. That's one of mine.

I'm not advocating paganism and especially not my version. I am saying that your religion does not govern my behavior. Just as mine does not govern yours.

Our nation was founded on principles that transcended Christianity. Some of them predate Christianity. The Founders were wise enough to know that they didn't know everything. The Enlightenment thinkers did not spontaneously create their philosophy, they drew heavily on history. There's no need to label these ideas as Christian or Hottentotten, it's enough that some very wise men found ways to pass along truths that worked. Civilization rises from wisdom after disaster. You're arguing over the labels so "your side" can take credit. Yes, Christian people (as opposed to Christianity) have done some wonderful things. And Christians have done some terrible things with huge costs to humanity. The vice or virtue is not in the label, it's in the individual. Labels borrow merit, although they do get blamed.

I didn't say the EoR was universal, I said it was the keystone of Western Civilization. Our best law and principles rest on the simple idea that we're fair to others because we expect them to be fair to us.

I've said it before, Christianity is not the source of all that is good and righteous in our society. Christians are better and nicer when they aren't the only game around. “One path among many” means Christians usually pay attention to what others say. It means Christians have to defend what they say and do without hiding behind scripture or a "higher truth."

Our law should not be defined in terms of A religion. Certainly not if everyone doesn't share that religion.

We should celebrate the ideas, not the labels.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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Headline of the year

Sarah Huckabee Sanders Got Booted From a Restaurant, but Florists and Photographers Should Have to Work Gay Weddings?

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Discriminate

The Right to Discriminate

The left has created a macabre myth that runs counter to the whole experience of mankind. The left has persuaded the gullible masses of America, including, sadly, most conservatives, that "discrimination" by individuals and businesses is wrong and that it violates the Constitution.

Precisely the opposite is true. All serious cognition and all honest moral judgments involve discrimination. When individuals and businesses are not free to discriminate, then the power to determine what is true and false and good and bad becomes the sole property of the state – or that even more odious creature, that lobotomized Frankenstein monster, "society."

Instead of diverse opinions and actions freely manifest, which are what happens when the state and society are denied the power to force a certain viewpoint down the throats of private citizens and enterprises, what happens is that all debate, all differences, and all individuality are crushed based upon what those who run the state or manipulate society deem sacrosanct.
     — Bruce Walker
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Discrimination

I am not saying that discrimination because of gender, skin color, creed, or sexuality is right. I AM saying that government seeking to control discrimination is more wrong than the discrimination itself.
     — NeoWayland
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NeoNote — Compulsion by law

Under what circumstances does the state or the people have the moral authority to compel someone to act against their beliefs?

Read More...
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NeoNote — Legacy of privilege

At the same time, the privilege of being a protected class is regularly exploited to excuse behavior and escape responsibility.

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NeoNote — “Not all …”

If you wish to ban me, it is your site and your choice.

I'm also the one who says "not all men" when I am told in uncertain terms that America is a rape society. And I am the one who says "not all Christians" when I am told that "religious freedom" is a code word for dominionism. And I am the guy who politely and upfront told you and your readers I am a trouble maker, even if it is in the cause of truth and liberty.

Mr. McCain, you and I have had some epic disagreements. We've also had some epic agreements. If you checked, you would see that I seldom disagree with you about the individuals you single out. I just disagree with attacking a label and a class of people.

So, I hope I can stay around. I will not stop saying "not all …" when I think it applies. And now, I have at least one more comment to answer before I am banished.



Maybe it's because my experience with feminism didn't start with loud People Who Want To Be Noticed and write books.

Maybe it's because when I had my first direct experience of the Divine, She was just a mite put out that it had taken me so long to notice. I still look for the Divine in every woman I meet. I don't always find it but I always look.

Maybe it's because I knew my first strong woman from before I was born. When her contemporaries were out protesting, she was busy making her part of the World just a little better. All while not claiming the feminist label or accepting anything less than the respect she had earned.

Maybe it's because I learned early on that while words matter, actions matter more and intentions don't.

And maybe I am just too damn stubborn.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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NeoNote — Tit for tat

The only reason to follow the rules is if the other does too. If they don't follow the rules, you aren't bound to the rules.

Tit for tat.

You play by civilized rules until the individual doesn't. Then you crush them.

Not the group they belong to, the individual. You refuse to treat the label as the enemy. That prevents them from retreating into the safety of the group identity, and it delegitimizes the moral claims of that group. It also demonstrates that rules work only if everyone follows them. And when someone doesn't follow the rules, then they don't have the protection of the rules.

I might have had some small experience fighting this type of battle.

ETA: Oh, it also makes someone who believes in collective identity for the greater good feel very exposed when they can't retreat. Very exposed.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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Exposing a crime

“When exposing a crime is treated as committing a crime, you are ruled by criminals.”

Read More...
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NeoNote — Control

So some religions should get protection and others should not? Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems that if we start making those distinctions we've just sacrificed religious freedom.


There are times I want to discriminate.

There are people I do not want to have anything to do with. Yes, sometimes those people are Christian fundamentalists. But sometimes those people call for imprisoning climate deniers. Sometimes those people call for the redistribution of wealth. Sometimes those people call for the suppression of ideas they are "triggered" by. Sometimes those people want others removed from history because of things the others have been accused of.

So tell me, why should any of those people get their way?

We draw the line for a reason. No, it's not perfect and not everyone will be happy. But it comes down to parity. If I don't think someone has legitimate power to tell me how to think, what to say, or how to act, then I have no legitimate power to tell them how to think, what to say, or how to act. Which means that public accommodation and anti-discrimination laws are so much bunk.

Otherwise we're just raising one victimhood over another. Last week it was women, this week it is transgenders we're "protecting." Can't have equal rights because Black Lives Matter. If your faith offends, you aren't allowed. At that point, at this point, the only "solution" is to control the law so that you can control what is "allowed." Never mind that just sets up a future where you will lose control. You must be free, but the Other is not allowed.


Everyone should have freedom to discriminate.

The moment that the law declares this group of people off limits is the moment when you invite the law to be abused.

Look at the bill that sparked the original article. It's a "fix" of another law, which was a fix of a previous law, and so on.

The solution to government is always more government. And the definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results.

If Christians are wrong to enshrine their beliefs in the law, then anyone else is wrong trying to constrain them with the law.

The only practical solution is making sure the law gives no advantage. "Protecting" one group over others is just going to perpetuate the injustice.



As far as the rest, I don't blame labels. There's no vice or virtue in the label. "Christian" includes Roy Moore and MLK. It's not every Christian and we should stop declaring that Christianity is a threat to our chosen way of life. Like it or not, American religious pluralism made American paganism possible.

As far as scapegoats go, well, you (among others) are blaming Christians because they are Christians and not because of what the individual has done.

My point all along this thread is that the law should not benefit or harm any religion. There are some very vocal Christians who want the law to shield Christianity. There are some very vocal people who want the law to contain Christianity. Both groups are wrong.



Actually yes.

Starting with a big one. I'll repeat it for you.

If Christians are wrong to enshrine their beliefs in the law, then anyone else is wrong trying to constrain them with the law.

Freedom of religion is exactly that. Neither help nor hinder. You can't fix bad law by making more law. You can only repeal it. Politics is about control. Freedom is about choice.


Ah, but that isn't what people like Bill Nye, Lawrence Torcello, Mark Hertsgaard, and Brad Johnson said. They all said that the mere act of climate change denial should be a crime.

Behold the new heresy. You are not allowed to dissent.

And yes, that is every bit as authoritarian as anything any Christian fanatic demanded.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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NeoNote — Manifest your faith

You do realize that if "the Bible is all one piece," you can't pick and choose bits and pieces to quote, don't you? If you eat all your veggies and are especially nice, I won't demand that you start following all those bits in Numbers and Leviticus. We won't talk about the deleted texts now.

How do you suppose those disciples did it? They had to work without a New Testament.


So, only the True Believers® are allowed to quote the Bible as they choose because they are special.

I told you before, that says more about your faith than it does my arguments.

It's not enough that I be a good person, I must supplicate myself before the altar of your dogma and beg forgiveness.

Not going to happen, My gods gave me a pass. They also told me what was up.

It's not your god who demands those things. It's certain pesky humans who claim to speak in his name.



All this fixation on the Bible is missing the forest for the trees.

Your scripture isn't nearly as important as how you manifest it.

I don't care about your god. I do care about the people around me. I'd rather not fight a religious war, but I can fight to defend me and mine.

The way I see it, it's better if we humans at least talk to each other. Maybe argue and wave fingers in each others faces.

You have your god, I have mine. For all we know they may go out together for beer and wine every seventh year. So let's honor the gods and treat each other decently.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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NeoNote — Religion in public schools

One reason why the public school movement gained so much ground in America was in direct response to Catholic schools. Control over what should be taught in public schools is a distraction.

Hardly anyone asks if there should be public schools in the first place.

Mandatory school attendance is backed by the force of law. Much of it has degenerated into who gets to control the conditioning. Which raises some interesting questions. The Daily Caller reports that the Mountain Ridge Middle School in West Virginia requires students to write out the Shahada to practice calligraphy. There are no requirements to write out Christian or Jewish affirmations, and apparently those are not part of the curriculum. Obviously Buddhist and pagan beliefs aren't included either.

Why is this a big deal and a much bigger deal than is being reported? According to Islam, reciting the Shahada makes one Muslim forevermore.

I want to stress that the issue is not Christianity, Islam, or any other faith. The issue is public schools requiring faith lessons. If public schools force religion on the students, then most likely they are teaching other questionable propaganda as well. We notice the religion because as members of minority faiths that is one thing our antenna are tuned for, we overlook the other.

All of this returns to the question why have public and compulsory schools to begin with?
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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NeoNote — More on Jordan Peterson

There's at least one blogger who says that Jordan Peterson's advice is banal and obvious. I haven't been able to get through Peterson's book, but I think Greenfield (the blogger) has a point. We need more men acting like men do, especially with kids and VERY ESPECIALLY with boys. I still worry about the American inner cities, where the Federal government in their Official Incompetence decided that families could work without fathers.



Scott Greenfield, different blogger. I think I got the article link from Claire Wolfe.

Honestly there are many libertarians and a fair number of conservatives who just don't get why Jordan Peterson is such a big deal. It's like "yeah, we knew that, it's obvious."



There's a lot to be said for standing up for what you believe.



See, I think it's way too early to compare him to Rush. I also think it's giving Peterson too much credit.

I haven't gotten through his book yet, so maybe there's something there I haven't seen.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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Multiculturalism

What 'multiculturalism' boils down to is that you can praise any culture in the world except Western culture—and you cannot blame any culture in the world except Western culture.
     — Thomas Sowell

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Make a business

There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.
     — Booker T. Washington

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Certain class

You have to look outside your preconceptions and expectations for the things you can't explain.

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NeoNote — Women's studies

Okay, seriously though, and this relates to one of my long standing criticisms of women's studies (and any number of gender studies, skin color studies, etc.)

If these various fields of study have any worth at all, they have to acknowledge that they are only part of the picture. Limiting your studies to one subgroup is going to limit your understanding. Especially if you dismiss without question other subgroups. It's the difference between rigorous study and fantasyland. It's why the theoretical has to cross over with the practical. It's not enough to say how things should work, you have to examine how things actually work together. You have to look outside your preconceptions and expectations for the things you can't explain. Otherwise you never leave the echo chamber.

Or, women's studies without human studies is sh*t.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.
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“Why do I have a gun?”


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Inequality


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Skin color


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“This is conscious authoritarianism…”

Therein lies danger. Peterson may articulate an end goal of balance, but at the moment he's offering order against chaos, yang against yin. The effort is, by definition, reactionary, counter-revolutionary. But once you place yourself squarely on one side of the pendulum, you'll inevitably exaggerate the collective demerits of the other while indulging in-group excesses. Dogma throughout history has had its freedom-killing flaws, he readily admits, but, well, sometimes people just need to be told what to do. This is conscious authoritarianism, and Peterson is volunteering for the job.

Power corrupts, and relationships alter behavior. "This risk of being changed is one of the most frightening prospects most of us can face," Peterson writes at one point. In setting himself up as rule-maker to an adoring flock and flirting openly with the idea that he is being visited with capital-r Revelation, the professor threatens to become unmoored from the winning pragmatism of his clinical practice. Stepping into an exalted role as avenging angel against a feminine chaos can descend quickly into self-parody.
     — Matt Welch, Jordan Peterson Is Not the Second Coming

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NeoNote — John McCain

For the record, I'm from Arizona. I've also actively worked against John McCain's reelection for decades. I was willing to give him a pass until the Keating Five scandal.

Being a prisoner of war doesn't not give license later in life to screw your constituents. John McCain is selfish, as proven by his last stunt. There's almost no chance of his returning to the Senate. So why hasn't he resigned? Why did he even run in 2016?



I don't care if it was talking about George Washington. John McCain is a dishonorable scumbag who is in it only for political advantage. He's cashed in on that POW experience so many times that it ought to have disintegrated by now.

I can't help but wonder if it would have defending John McCain so hard in 2008.



No. I mean running for office when one is pretty sure one will be dead before the term ends.

That should have been incredibly obvious by how I worded it.

Obviously your understanding lacks something. If you are not sure what I mean, ask me and I will explain.

One thing I will explain now is that I am not Republican.

ETA: Speaking of incredibly selfish actions, why is anyone discussing John McCain's funeral and his disagreement with Trump before the man has passed?



But why is McCain's funeral being discussed in the national press? And don't tell me it's because McCain is a National Figure.

It's not anyone's business except the family until after the man has passed.

Unless McCain thought he could get one more bit of of political posturing at Trump's expense out of it.

Like I said, the man is selfish.



I wish I could agree. Unfortunately, the man fancies himself a part-time kingmaker and has done harm to my state.
And. You. Are. Not. Allowed. To. Criticize



Sometimes not even then.

You get lectured on how he is an Institution.

Goldwater was an institution, and earned that status. Funny thing is, he didn't have people around him telling other people how important he was.

I met Goldwater when I was in high school. He makes McCain look like a drunk javelina with a missing back leg.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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“Why The Left HATES Jordan Peterson”

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Left wing anti-Semitism

“Delusions of Justice”

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25 years after Waco

Bitter lessons 25 years after Waco, Texas, siege

Fifty-one days before the FBI final assault, scores of federal Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms agents launched an attack on the Davidians’ home spurred by allegations that they had converted semi-automatic rifles to full-automatic capacity. The ATF’s lead investigator had previously rejected an offer to peacefully search the Davidians’ home for firearms violations. Four ATF agents and six Davidians were killed in the fracas on February 28, 1993. At least one ATF agent told superiors that the ATF fired first, spurring an immediate end to the official shooting review. But the media trumpeted the ATF storyline that its agents had been ambushed, entitling the feds to be far more aggressive in the following weeks.

What lessons can today’s Americans draw from the FBI showdown on the Texas plains a quarter century ago?
     — James Bovard
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NeoNote — Not defense

I just want to point out that American "defense" policy involves military action against nations when Congress hasn't declared war.



Even Trump complained when Obama launched military actions without Congressional approval.

You tell me. Should we change the Constitution so the President can attack any other nation on his authority alone? Or should we insist Congress does it's job?

Is this about America, right or wrong?

Or is it about liberty?



How about multiple missile attacks?



And is it right to launch missiles into other nations? You've said that eight months is sufficient. Is four months? Is four weeks? Is four days?



Is it right for other nations to launch missiles into our country?

After all, we have a proven record of meddling in the governments of other nations.



So you are saying that the U.S. has the unique power to fire missiles into other countries.

So much for freedom.



Obviously there is.

And it's even covered by that top ten list of yours.



At the very least, I think using a missile against innocents qualifies as murder.rob



Too late.

I do have a solution for the opium fields. But it doesn't involve armies. It would be a lot more effective though.



13843a0ce5d79577f49445c87bded26a797c00dbe3fc34163efc10746d450733


Oh?

There are an awful lot of people who got shot at who would disagree with you.

ETA: Not to mention all those overseas military bases.



You're arguing over definitions and a matter of degree.



Might doesn't make right. I've told you that before.

Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should do something. Or that you are justified in doing it.



Justified?

And if we're wrong, does that make us weak? Or just a bully that no one wants to face?



There is a century old story that I tell sometimes. Back during the Russian revolution, President Wilson sent American troops to intervene. The "mission" was murky at best, which led to failed promises and out-and-out lies. Wilson did this without Congressional authorization, we weren't at war with Russia.

Fast forward a couple of decades. Some of the Soviet General Staff had faced American soldiers in the trenches. They knew exactly what American words were worth.

And after WWII, that shaped the Cold War.

All because an American President took it on himself to intervene in a revolution without Congressional authority.



Don't get mad at me. It's right there in the Constitution. And if Congress hasn't declared war, then why are American troops fighting?

Considering who has been President, do you really want no checks and balances when it comes to war?



So why do we have troops fighting when war has not been declared?



Politicos have sacrificed the nation's honor and the lives of American troops for what?

Why do we have troops fighting when war has not been declared?
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

Comments

“The Militarization of Police: When Tyranny Comes Home”

“Since the end of the Cold War, SWAT teams have proliferated across the United States and the number of no-knock raids on private citizens has risen dramatically. Abby Hall and Chris Coyne explain that this is the result of the boomerang effect– the process by which, in the absence of strong formal constraints, tactics used in foreign interventions abroad are later used to limit the liberties of people back home.”

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“The Left's War on Science”

“City Journal contributing editor John Tierney joins John Stossel to talk about the politicization of science and how the dominance of left-wing thinkers in academia and the scientific community impedes progress.”

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Personal

Faith is a personal choice. It has to be, or it has no meaning.
     — NeoWayland
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This just in

The same government that has repeatedly violated privacy laws and illegally collects data from all it's citizens, is lecturing the CEO of a company about violating privacy laws and collecting data from all their users.
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NeoNote — Trump racist or Democrat legacy?

We'll start with basics. The game is not what you think it is.

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Truthful answers

What I do know is that sometimes I wander in where I am not wanted and give truthful answers. I'm the pagan that tells Christian conservatives that they don't get to dictate what others worship or how others worship. I'm a male who tells feminists that not all men are guilty. And I'm the libertarian who tells the climate crisis crowd that the climate models don't work.

I appreciate the warning, but I've been troublemaking for a long time. It's one of Coyote's gifts and I'm honor bound not to squander it.
     — NeoWayland
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One weakness of identity politics

This does point out one weakness of identity politics. The label trumps things like ability, character, and fashion sense. It's always going to be about who is first in the victim hierarchy this week. No members of unapproved victim groups need apply.
     — NeoWayland
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Some men

And if there can be some men who don't have that opinion, why can't there be others?
     — NeoWayland
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“Welcome To Progressive Utopia”

“A society afraid of free speech is afraid of itself.
Anyone who needs a safe space from other people’s opinions should be in therapy”

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Monday supersized roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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from crux № 14 — honor

Funny thing about the honor culture, it takes generations to "die."

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Contraception

I'm really not trying to be difficult here. But I have a hard time seeing how contraception for consensual sex should be on the public dime. How can that be a right when not everyone benefits and taxes are collected by force to pay for it?
     — NeoWayland
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Abortion & contraception

I have mixed feelings on abortion. The one thing I am sure about is that it should not be paid for by government. There are many reasons, but the main one is that it's always easier to spend someone else's money.

Contraception is less complicated. Sex is (or should be) a voluntary act. You choose to have sex. Your neighbors should no more pay for your contraception than they should pay for your designer shoes. This is an example of what I was talking about. If government gives you benefits at the expense of others, it's privilege.
     — NeoWayland
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Injustices

If you want to tell me about specific injustices done to individuals, that's one thing.

If you want to tell me about generalized injustices against a given class of vaguely defined people, that's something completely different. Especially when that group routinely excludes many people and constantly redefines who is a REAL member.
     — NeoWayland
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Rape culture

Madam, you don't know what rape culture is!

What's more, you demean the experiences of women and children who do suffer living under rape cultures by comparing yourself and your experiences to them.

You're not helping them, all you are doing is guilting people into giving more privilege.

Please, if you do nothing else, stop exploiting their experiences for your agenda.
     — NeoWayland
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Getting better

The thing is, we're getting better. Americans especially. We're practically hardwired to help. Show us something that we can do something about and we will do it. Not because we're obligated to, not because of some government edict, but because we genuinely want to. Child fallen in a well? We're there, not only with (mostly unofficial) rescuers but with people feeding the family and the rescuers. New Orleans flooded? We're there with fan boats carrying supplies and the most efficient trucking network on the planet bringing in more. Notably the fan boats got turned away because they weren't "official." You should watch for that, it's a repeating pattern.
     — NeoWayland
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“Every High School Principal Should Say This”

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Deserve rights

Yes, some humans systematically are denied human rights.

Most of them are not American.

The most successful rights movements in history have not divided people into victims groups. They've said that people deserve rights because they are human.
     — NeoWayland
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Human rights

Depends on what you are calling a right.

Personally I think there are no women's rights, no pagan rights, no Hispanic rights, no men's rights, no black rights, no gay rights.

There are human rights. Human rights are shared by everyone. Anything else is a privilege, taken at the expense of others by force.

I will fight for and support human rights.
     — NeoWayland
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“Remy: I Like it, I Love it”

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Bigot

Because I assume that people are amazing unless they prove otherwise.

Because I prefer asking questions to arguing.

Because I'm not defined by my gender.

And because not everyone is a bigot.

As I said, I look for the Divine in every woman I meet. Can you think of a better way to find people who are honorable, passionate and reasoning at the same time?
     — NeoWayland
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People are amazing

I prefer to assume that people are amazing unless they prove otherwise. Individuals may be awesome or terrible, but men as a group aren't guilty because of the behavior of some.

Treating all men as if they are guilty will not only cost you allies, it means that some good men will stop listening just because being called perpetually guilty is tiresome.
     — NeoWayland
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NeoNote — SPLC

No one person and no one group has all the answers. No one group should be vested with THE moral authority to decide who is and is not a hate group.

The SPLC needs competition.

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NeoNotes — gun tragedy

I think it's despicable and dishonorable to capitalize on tragedy hours after a mass shooting, but hey, what do I know?

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Tuesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Rebuke

“CPAC speaker Mona Charen stuns with fiery rebuke of Trump, Le Pen”

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NeoNotes — the best tyranny

Once you start using force and the rule of law to go after your "enemies," what's to stop you from going after us next?

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Young heroes

“West Point posthumously admits shooting victim Peter Wang to Class of 2025”

“U.S. Army Awards Medal of Heroism to Three Junior ROTC Cadets Killed in Parkland Shooting”

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No, boys aren't broken

Me, I think men protect their own, and stand between innocents and danger. I'm sure there are hundreds of other ways. I just don't buy that manhood is validated by the gender of the people you might sleep with.
     — NeoWayland



“Peter Wang died a 'hero' in Florida shooting, wearing his ROTC uniform. Petition seeks a full honors military funeral”

“JROTC students use Kevlar pads to shield classmates from Florida shooter”

“Hero boy shot five times shielding classmates from Florida school gunman”

“Florida school shooting: Football coach shot, killed while protecting students hailed as hero”

“A heroic geography teacher died protecting his students from the Florida high school shooter”

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Increasingly suspect

Ah, "anthropogenic global warming/cooling/drastic weather." In a word, unproven.

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NeoNotes — Let people make their own choices

There comes a time when the only way to win is not to play.



Just pointing out again that if you don't like government power, maybe the real answer is taking the power away from government.



At that point I'd have to stand and say no.

You can't exile someone because of what they believe. It's what they want to do to you. That doesn't make it right.

We need to have our ideas challenged by people we don't agree with. If the ideas are good, they will stand on their own merit.



Maybe it's time the libertarians (small l, not the party) were in charge. We could start by abolishing any political party, reducing the total amount of taxes to ten percent and making the politicos pay for anything government spends above that amount.

Then we can talk about who is allowed to have influence.



And organizing everything from the words anyone is allowed to say to the calorie count of a pizza slice, just how well is that working out?

The problem isn't who is calling the shots. Experience has shown that no matter what promises someone makes, as soon as they have power they will be just as tyrannical as the opposition. Look at this discussion. You are literally writing about who is and is not allowed to have influence. And making sure that capital L Libertarians are on display, but not allowed to influence policy. That's better for people how? We are supposed to trust in the benevolence of conservatives?

The answer is massively reducing the size and scope of government. Let people make their own choices.



Can you do that without pointing a gun at people?

Do you have enough courage in your convictions to do it without force?



And I am not convinced that conservatives can be totally trusted. As I rule, I trust conservatives more than I do progressives, but I don't trust you that much.

It's not easy to do it without a gun, but it's possible. The thing is, progressives don't start with guns. They start by establishing Moral Authority. You can do more by taking that away than you can with guns. Hurting them or killing them just makes martyrs to the "cause."

The Left doesn't like it when I do a lot of things. That doesn't stop me much.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.
Comments

Training wheels

I don't believe in enabling power through victimhood. I know that can seem cruel, but it's not. After a time, the training wheels get in the way.
     — NeoWayland
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Million different ways

Culture is the million different ways we touch one another. We're letting skin color and nationality get in the way.
     — NeoWayland
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A pet peeve

It's not a right unless the other guy has it too.

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Friday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Wednesday roundup


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“Surprise: Voters Aren't More Polarized than Ever, Only Pols and Media Are”

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Goal of our culture

The goal of our culture now is not the emancipation of the individual from the group, but the permanent definition of the individual by the group. We used to call this bigotry. Now we call it being woke.
     — Andrew Sullivan, We All Live on Campus Now
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The Nation goes after the intel community

“Russiagate or Intelgate?”

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“25 Principles of Adult Behavior” by John Perry Barlow

Be patient. No matter what.

Don’t badmouth: Assign responsibility, not blame. Say nothing of another you wouldn’t say to them.

Never assume the motives of others are, to them, less noble than yours are to you.

Expand your sense of the possible.

Don’t trouble yourself with matters you truly cannot change.

Expect no more of anyone than you can deliver yourself.

Tolerate ambiguity.

Laugh at yourself frequently.

Concern yourself with what is right rather than who is right.

Never forget that, no matter how certain, you might be wrong.

Give up blood sports. Remember that your life belongs to others as well. Don’t risk it frivolously.

Never lie to anyone for any reason. (Lies of omission are sometimes exempt.)

Learn the needs of those around you and respect them.

Avoid the pursuit of happiness. Seek to define your mission and pursue that.

Reduce your use of the first personal pronoun.

Praise at least as often as you disparage.

Admit your errors freely and soon.

Become less suspicious of joy.

Understand humility.

Remember that love forgives everything.

Foster dignity.

Live memorably.

Love yourself.

Endure.

— John Perry Barlow 1977

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Roaming Millennial “#MeToo? | Regret & Consent”

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Friday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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NeoNotes — compel an individual

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Thursday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Wednesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Monday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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from crux № 12 — climate change

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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from crux № 17 — spiritual warrior

All I am saying is that you should check your experience with others who have a different perspective, people you can talk with face to face.

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Nothing scandalizes like the truth

Nothing scandalizes a leftist like the truth. Point out that women and men are different, that black Americans commit a disproportionate amount of violent crime, that most terrorist acts are committed by Muslims, and the Left leaps to its collective feet in openmouthed shock, like Margaret Dumont after a Groucho Marx wisecrack. This is racism! This is sexism! This is some sort of phobia! I’m shocked, shocked to find facts being spoken in polite company!

No one is really shocked, of course. This is simply a form of bullying. The Left has co-opted our good manners and our good will in order to silence our opposition to their bad policies. The idea is to make it seem impolite and immoral to mention the obvious.
     — Andrew Klavan, Of Crudeness and Truth
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“As if withholding belief was a moral crime…”

I have a problem with this assumption "at the moment the general reaction seems to be to disbelieve abuse survivors." I do not find it to be accurate. Mostly because of what group is being examined to provide the baseline for the general reaction, which I've rarely seen explained.

Every time I see this idea come up, it is used as a weapon against those who desire to have an examined and rational discussion without having to say "I believe." as if withholding belief was a moral crime. That idea that there is a culture of disbelief has been weaponized and used to silence those who ask uncomfortable and disquieting questions.
     — Isabella LeCour, comment on Accusations of abuse surface against ADF founder Isaac Bonewits
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from crux № 21 — American hegemony

In the name of the greater good, the US supported tyranny and dictators all over the globe.

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Internet debates

Sometimes, you're wrong.

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NeoNotes - Real religion

Pardon, I don't think anyone is capable of judging what is and is not a "real" religion. I can't tell you how many times certain Christians have told me that my faith isn't real.

Pauline Christianity is something completely different that what Yeshua Ben Yosef preached. Gnostic Christianity is something completely different yet again. Which is true? Who knows? Who am I to judge what happens between someone else and the Divine?

I think these are the wrong questions. Christians are much nicer when they aren't the only game around. From what little I've seen, the same applies to Muslims.

I think what matters is how we treat others, especially others who do not share our faith and culture. Ramming it down other's throat by force will cause resentment. That's where some monotheists go wrong. It's not that they have the True Faith™, its that no other faith can be allowed. Because of their Greater Understanding and enlightenment, they can break society's rule for the Greater Good. Thou shalt not dissent.

Climate change alarmists stole the game lock, stock, and barrel. It's common for some of the radical feminists too. If anything, I think it indicates a weakness in the argument. Their faith isn't strong enough, they can't convince others, so it must be forced.

Getting back to Christianity, how much would history have changed if Constantine hadn't made it the state faith? How would it have developed if it had stayed one faith among many? How much of the Official® was really about politics and controlling the populace?

Could it be that control is really the issue?
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

Comments

A good man

Good men don’t need rules. Today is not the day to find out why I have so many.
     — The Doctor, A Good Man Goes to War
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Cutting taxes only makes the problem worse

Cutting taxes only makes the problem worse unless they cut spending.

Personally I don't think Congress should get paid unless they bring spending in under income. I'm also in favor of liens against their homes and seizing their bank accounts.
     — NeoWayland

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Moral absolute

Every moral absolute I’ve ever encountered depends on cultural or religious assumptions that probably aren’t shared by all people present.
     — NeoWayland
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Iron qualities

We need the iron qualities that go with true manhood. We need the positive virtues of resolution, of courage, of indomitable will, of power to do without shirking the rough work that must always be done.
     — Theodore Roosevelt
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“STOP. SEXUALIZING. CHILDREN.”

“This video looks at the concerning trend toward the sexualization of children through shows like Big Mouth, provocative toys like Bratz, and the dangers of advocating acceptance of attraction to children.”

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Tuesday roundup

The Big Con: The Truth Behind Net Neutrality and Why the Sky Is Not Falling

“Net neutrality was the government’s response to an actual problem. As usual, their response ignored the problem completely.”

The Modern Art Of Pervs

Changing mores and the sexualization of children

The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook

“How Hezbollah turned to trafficking cocaine and laundering money through used cars to finance its expansion.” So Obama let them break the law. I don't agree with the War on Drugs, but the President should uphold the law.

CDC director says there are ‘no banned words’ at the agency

Well, I fell for this one too. I should know by now that the really bad stuff about Trump seldom turns out true. Also No, the CDC did not ban a list of words

Since Feeding the Homeless is Now Illegal, A Group Carried AR15s to Give Out Food—It Worked

Unsanctioned, unofficial charity.

The Other Tech Bubble

The ugliness behind the startup culture.

In Legalizing Marijuana, Uruguay Trips over the Dollar, US Laws, and Global Banks

or “Why Drug Lords Love the Patriot Act.”

3 Reasons Millennials Should Consider Ditching Karl Marx for Ayn Rand

“Karl Marx doesn’t align with what’s important to Millennials.”

Jedi Mind Trick: The Disturbing, Destabilizing Abnormal Is Now Normal

Change means disrupting the system. And there's plenty of disruption.

Is Your Cell Phone Protected by the Constitution?

The Supreme Court will decide, and it doesn't look good.

‘We Made This (Harassment) Law Up From The Beginning And Now We’ve Won’

Deliberately screwing up society.

Comey Should Be Indicted

It was obvious months ago, but now it's a given. It won't happen though. Indicting Comey is one step closer to HRC. And indicting HRC is one step closer to Barack Obama.

Right Wing Extremism vs. Islamic Extremism in the United States: A Look at the Numbers

Debunking the claim that most terrorism in the US is carried out by the right wing.

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Truth and manliness

Private and public life are subject to the same rules—truth and manliness are two qualities that will carry you through this world much better than policy or tact of expediency or other words that were devised to conceal a deviation from a straight line.
     — Robert E. Lee
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Monday roundup

Trump to remove ‘climate change’ as a national security threat

It never was a threat. It was an excuse to divert money and resources to a religious cause. Yes, the climate alarmists are a religion. Right down to treating dissenters as heretics.

Miami pulls the plug on its red light camera program

Too many cities have leveraged red light cameras into a revenue source and manipulated the light timing to maximize revenue.

Donald Trump, Lying, and Eroding Social Trust

Good questions. Presidents and politicos lie, it's what they do. The problems is believing one flavor is better than the other.

States Fight Calif. and Mass. over Meddlesome Livestock Law

Why should one state control how farming occurs in another?

Navajo Nation sues Wells Fargo in fake-account scandal

“Vulnerable” needs some explaining. There are cultural assumptions that the Diné have that most of the U.S. doesn't. This puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to legal issues.

‘Internet Service Providers Should Not Be Able To Decide What People Can See Online,’ Says Man Who Decides What People Can See Online

Mark Zuckerberg is a hypocrite.

The #MeToo Movement Is Destroying Trust Between Men And Women

“Demonizing Men Undermines Both Sexes”

Judicial Watch President: "Forget Mueller," The Real Question Is "Do We Need To Shut Down The FBI?"

The Bureau is compromised.

Democrats Can Weaponize the Sexual Assault Allegations Against Trump

It won't work. Trump is better at this game than the press or his political opponents. He won't go quietly when allegations are in the air.

Masterpiece Cakeshop: Are We Free To Disagree?

This nuance is important and often misreported in the media. Jack serves all customers; he does not want to be forced to create all messages.

UN Security Council weighs resolution saying Jerusalem decisions are void

Yeah. The UN has no authority in the affairs between two nations or in the internal affairs of any nation. Nor does the US. Nor should they.

CA Dems Proposing Spending $1 Billion Giving Health Care To Illegal Immigrants

As long as CA pays and not the rest of the country, I've no problem. But they will find a way to shift the costs, just watch.

Trump administration forbids CDC officials from using 7 words and phrases

I'm torn on this one. On the one hand, I don't think the administration should be banning words. On the other hand, I've seen some of the nonsense coming out of the CDC in the last few years.

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Does what he must

A man does what he must – in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures – and that is the basis of all human morality.
     — Winston Churchill
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Utopia

If you want to find utopia, take a sharp right on money and a sharp left on sex and it's straight ahead.
     — Penn Jillette

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“I am an American and a Patriot”

I am an American and a Patriot. I am my country's keeper. The President and Congress report to me. And so - I will stay informed and involved. Ignorance, apathy, and complacency are my enemy. I will make my voice heard and not just at election time. Silence is the same as consent in the face of oppression. I can make a difference. I matter.I am an American and a Patriot.

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Syncretism happens even if it offends

Faith and religion don't stay in the nice neat boxes and cabinets we make for them. Syncretism happens, even if it offends the True Believer™.
     — NeoWayland

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They say

Conservatives say the government can't end poverty by force, but they believe it can use force to make people moral. Liberals say government can't make people be moral, but they believe it can end poverty. Neither group attempts to explain why government is so clumsy and destructive in one area but a paragon of efficiency and benevolence in the other.
     — Harry Browne
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“Stossel: Deceitful Bias in The NY Times”

A new study blames global warming, but provides almost no information

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Wenesday roundup

Former Dem Congresswoman Sentenced To Five Years In Prison On Corruption Charges

She used both her Congressional membership and a charity.

This Company Will Bring Health Care To Your Door, On Demand

As Obamacare destroys the healthcare system, expect smart people finding ways to make it work

They Don't Give Any Advance Notice When They Change The Narrative

Scapegoating on a massive scale

Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg warns of a “Me Too” backlash against women at work

The backlash is inevitable. The question is how hard and how long.

Facebook Is Banning Women for Calling Men ‘Scum’

And the backlash begins…

12 states ask Supreme Court to block California egg law

This is long past due. California likes to use it's size and power to meddle in the internal affairs of other states. Almost like they learned it from the Federal government.

Judge Halts Indiana Town's Cruel Attempt to Fine Residents Out of their Properties

Not eminent domain, but almost as bad

Moore spokesman calls sex assault accusers ‘criminals’

I'm not surprised given Moore's history. The sex accusations without proof don't bother me. I'm seriously disturbed that a theocratic Republican with a history of ignoring court rulings is about to be elected to the United States Senate.

Can States Compel You to Bake a Cake Against Your Will? The Supreme Court Will Decide.

Most of the pagans and progressives I know think this is a slam dunk. But they don't like it when I ask if that means that the states can force you to do things that violate your beliefs.

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Unspoken fear

Those aren't union members on the picket line

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Destroyed their own brand

When the NFL players are on the field, that's not their time. They're being paid millions to play and put on a good show. That's millions by the fans in the stands and the viewers on TV. The NFL is selling a product, it's not something holy. If the fans and viewers don't like what they see, they will take their money elsewhere. And then where will the players be? Off the field on their own time, who cares what the players think? That's their time. Off the field, they have to prove their ideas just like anyone else. But when the players made their paid time political time, they destroyed their own brand.
     — NeoWayland
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Tuesday roundup

Microsoft's new Chinese web portal censor's words like "freedom" and "democracy"

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Plunder

The law of unintended consequences strikes again

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NeoNotes - Hearsay

Moving quotes to individual entries

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Echo chamber

If you never leave the echo chamber, you never learn to defend your arguments.

It's a big reason why libertarians are better than average at debating on certain subjects. Nobody agrees with us entirely and we get plenty of practice.
     — NeoWayland
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Begging government

Do you really want pagans and heathens begging government for table scraps that they might give us? If we're really REALLY good and cute enough?
     — NeoWayland
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Taken stands

I've taken stands for gun rights, alternative sexual practices, the value of the family with men and women role models, religious choice, the free market, and good movies.
     — NeoWayland
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What faith

I could care less what faith my neighbor is, but I do care if she lets her dog do it's thing on my lawn.
     — NeoWayland
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Pay attention to laws

The people who pay attention to laws are not the ones you have to worry about.
     — NeoWayland
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Beware

Beware anyone who offers an absolute.
     — NeoWayland
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A choice that is imposed is no choice

A choice that is imposed is no choice. Religion imposed in the name of “freedom and decency” will be neither free nor decent.
     — NeoWayland
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Compelled

If you choose to do something, that's freedom. If you're compelled to do something, that's coercion.
     — NeoWayland
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Monotheisms

Not all monotheisms are alike. Just as one example, I'd rather deal with people trying to deny my rights instead of fanatics trying to kill me and mine.
     — NeoWayland
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Hate crime

I'm still waiting for you to make the case how a hate crime is worse than a non-hate crime for the same “transgression.”
     — NeoWayland
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Polyamorous

Most polyamorous people will tell you that polyamory is based on active, long term relationships. It's not a license to sleep with whoever at the drop of a hat. And it's certainly not the ability to compel sex from another.
     — NeoWayland
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Questionable

Messing with kids, that's perverted.

Demanding that others acknowledge AND celebrate your sexuality, that's questionable.

Actually being lesbian, gay, transgender, or whatever else isn't.

Mixing your sexuality with politics is a pretty good sign that you're corrupt though.
     — NeoWayland
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In terms of minorities

As long as rights are defined in terms of minorities, one person's gain will always be perceived as another's loss. As long as some get exempted from responsibility because they are minorities, they will claim victimhood.
     — NeoWayland
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Minority rights

Many of those making the most noise about minority rights are deliberately perpetuating the situation.
     — NeoWayland
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Headstone

If someone has served honorably, then they should have whatever they want on their headstone up to and including Mickey Mouse. Government issue or not, it's not about what is “approved.” It's about honoring someone who chose to serve and fulfilled that duty.
     — NeoWayland
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Virtue or vice

The virtue or vice is not in the title. It's in the individual.
     — NeoWayland
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American pluralism

As long as there is a rule of law that doesn't raise one faith above all others, we can deal with the mess. That's one reason I'm grateful for sectarianism. When they argue among themselves over truth, they don't have time to take on the rest. American pluralism grew out of the English Civil War and the American colonists trying to practice their faith as they saw fit and not as dictated by another sect or church.
     — NeoWayland
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Find things we share

We need to find things we share rather than using faith to define the morality of our society. We can agree to outlaw theft and vandalism, we can't agree on marriage. We can agree that people shouldn't drive under the influence, we can't agree to ban all intoxicants. We can agree that people should be free to make their own choices, we can't agree which choices should be eliminated.
     — NeoWayland, United We Stand - Dragging religion into politics
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Eliminating choice

Rather than eliminating choice, we should make sure that the consequences are clear.
     — NeoWayland, United We Stand - Dragging religion into politics
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Measurable damage vs. forbidden

Mala in se means "bad in and of itself." Something is mala in se if and only if it threatens or results in measurable damage to life, liberty, and property. Mala prohibita means "bad because it is prohibited." Something is mala prohibita if and only if the state has forbidden it. I would add regulation as well.

To prove mala in se, you have to show measurable damage. Mala prohibita means that the government will impose morality and ethics by force.
     — NeoWayland, United We Stand - Dragging religion into politics
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Right choice

If you have to make the "right choice" for someone, you're taking away their freedom. You're taking away their right to be wrong. You're taking away their opportunity to learn from their mistakes. You're taking away their judgement. You're saying they aren't fully human. You're saying that they can't be trusted.

And you're saying that your beliefs can't compete.
     — NeoWayland, United We Stand - Dragging religion into politics
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National motto

We should go back to the original national motto. "In God We Trust" is so divisive, and it takes the responsibility away from the individual citizen and puts it in the hands of an unseen overlord. That is a big part of what led to this nonsense. I always preferred the original National Motto. E Pluribus Unum is Latin for "one from many parts" but I prefer another translation.

“United we stand.”
     — NeoWayland, United We Stand - Dragging religion into politics
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Honoring your faith

Honoring your faith is admirable. Demanding that I honor your faith is despicable.
     — NeoWayland, United We Stand - Dragging religion into politics
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Ethics

If ethics have to be forced, that's pretty immoral right there.
     — NeoWayland, United We Stand - Dragging religion into politics
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Choose your beliefs

Free choice. Choose your beliefs, just don't choose mine. And I will do the same. Faith imposed is no faith at all. The only faiths and beliefs worthy of freedom are those freely chosen.
     — NeoWayland, United We Stand - Dragging religion into politics
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Forbid

If someone wants to forbid gay marriage, what would they do if the law only allowed gay marriage? If someone wanted Bible study in schools, what would they do if the law only allowed the Koran in schools? If someone wanted a Christian president, what would they do if the law prohibited a Christian president?
     — NeoWayland, United We Stand - Dragging religion into politics
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Surefire

It's the old parity test again. And it is the surefire method to tell if a law is mala in se or mala prohibita.
     — NeoWayland, United We Stand - Dragging religion into politics
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Live under their beliefs

Why should I be expected to live under their beliefs if they aren't willing to live under mine?
     — NeoWayland, United We Stand - Dragging religion into politics
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Religion is the excuse

Religion is the excuse not the reason.
     — NeoWayland
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Recognizing rights

Recognizing the rights of others is pretty much the only thing that keeps us from taking what we want and to hell with the consequences.
     — NeoWayland
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Moral harm

Do you really want politicos deciding what is moral harm?
     — NeoWayland
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Politicos lie

Politicos lie. It's what they do. The mistake is believing that one “flavor” is somehow morally better.
     — NeoWayland
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We're allowing ourselves to be manipulated

The question isn't which politico is better. The question is why we're allowing ourselves to be manipulated into believing that government and Our Elected Officials™ know what's best and will serve us.
     — NeoWayland
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Speak for me

Please don't presume you can speak for me. You do it badly.
     — NeoWayland
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Please do not salt the Earth

Please do not salt the Earth.

Plant flowers and fruit trees in the rubble.
     — NeoWayland
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Consenting adults

Consenting adults.

Nice, simple, solves WAY more problems than it causes.
     — NeoWayland
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We let it happen

We let it happen.

We bought the lie that compassion triumphs practicality. We accepted that “blacks” deserved more privileges because of history. We let generations be victims when they deserved to be heroes.
     — NeoWayland
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Fighting and living

I could say that fighting and living serves better than dying. That, and making the place a little better before you leave.
     — NeoWayland
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Church Militant

A Church Militant with willing martyrs doesn't serve the glory of a god as much as the personal power of princes, potentates, and priests.
     — NeoWayland
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My faith

My faith and beliefs are at least as important to me as yours are to you.
     — NeoWayland
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Politics corrupts faith

We know politics corrupts faith and religion. We've ample evidence what happens when the People of the Book try it.
     — NeoWayland
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Denying global warming

I'm notorious in online pagan groups for denying global warming and saying that environmentalism is a failed cause that should be replaced with ecology.

I'm rather proud of that.
     — NeoWayland
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Good person

Sometimes I ask Christians if someone can be a good person without being Christian.
     — NeoWayland
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Mark 12:17

One of my professors pointed out that Mark 12:17 could be interpreted to keep politics out of religion and religion out of politics. It's probably not true, but I like the thought. Politics is about controlling others and we know it corrupts almost everything it touches.
     — NeoWayland
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Syncretism happens

I would like to point out that there were vital and influential cultures that existed before Christianity. Syncretism happens.
     — NeoWayland
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Human Choice

I'm certain that these people do not have demonic hordes from realms infernal on speed dial, nor are they in direct contact with your Prince of Lies.

I'm equally certain that there will not be a heavenly host to put right what once was wrong, and that you didn't get marching orders directly from on high.

The manifestation is human.

The problem came from human choice and the solution has to come through human choice.
     — NeoWayland
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Folly

You haven't lived until you have an evangelical Christian and a radical atheist both trying to save you from your “folly” at the same time. After a bit they forget about you and argue with each other.

Great entertainment.
     — NeoWayland
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For Your Own Good

Right, because “For Your Own Good” was such a rousing success with Prohibition, explicit song lyrics, university speech codes, global warming, and Obamacare.
     — NeoWayland
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Tragedy of the “American Century”

That is the tragedy of the “American Century.” We forgot that liberty can't be imposed by the top down, it has to be seized from the bottom up.

As long as our government plays the games of international brinkmanship and global politics, we lose.

We're best when we protect our own freedom and inspire others though our example. People in other nations have to crave freedom and demand their own rights. It's the only way it will take root.

As a nation, we can't take out another government except by invading. Historically, that has not worked out well for America. It certainly destroyed our prestige.

But building trade, private investment in local economies, that delivered wonders.
     — NeoWayland
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Casting stones

Casting stones at another faith seems a little petty.
     — NeoWayland
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Excellent

My favorite version of the Golden Rule is “Be Excellent to Each Other. And Party On!”
     — NeoWayland
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The Bible, tain't mine

The Bible may be a very fine book, but “tain't mine.” I don't expect to follow it's rules any more than I would expect you to follow Sikhism.

It's also not the only source of wisdom, or even the “Golden Rule.”
     — NeoWayland
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Insulting

I'm just saying that if a Christian complains because Christianity is being mocked or attacked, insulting another faith is deluded at best. What's good for the goose should be good for the gander. Or if you prefer, the Golden Rule. Or that bit about casting stones…
     — NeoWayland
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NeoNotes —Somebody finally said the C word

Ah, somebody finally said the C word. And that means I can say not all Christians.

I can say something else too. For all of the evidence of Christian bigotry, there's tolerance and pluralism right there beside it. America is the probably the only nation where it could happen. Religious diversity made it happen. And it goes right back to the Civil War. While there were plenty saying (with reason) that the Bible justified slavery, there were others making the case that a human was a human no matter what the color skin. The ones fighting hardest against slavery took their best arguments from their faith. That continued through the woman's rights movement, through the civil rights movement, and on through the gay rights movement. Without Christians speaking and fighting, those movements would have stalled.

As a newbie back in the 80s, I had a lot of baggage. I spoke and wrote against Christians with the best of them. Some of my stuff is probably still floating around there. But I discovered that I didn't like who I was. There were other things too, I was not a nice person. After some serious soul searching and couple of Divine thumps on the head, I came back to a very simple idea. In magickal terms, the energy you put out is the energy you get back. It's the Ethic of Reciprocity, Christians call it the Golden Rule. It's probably the cornerstone of Western civilization. Long story short, if you look for the negative in others, that is precisely what you will find. And that is precisely what you will allow to shape your own life.

But if you look for the positive, "catch them doing right," there will be enough good to overcome the bad.

Christians made marriage legal in the first place. But do you honestly think there would be legal gay marriage without a whole lot of Christians saying, wait, we have to fix this to be fair to everyone.

Because not every Christian, you see. Sometimes in the places you least expect and from the people you'd never consider, there is tolerance and acceptance and even encouragement. Not everyone wraps themselves in the fire and brimstone of the OT. Some really do believe that their god is love.

We need those people badly.

So, not every Christian.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.
A class="pvc" HREF="http://www.paganvigil.com
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Perspective

My perspective is just a tad different. Does that make me wrong? Well, that's an interesting question, isn't it?

I'll give you another. If I'm right, does that make you wrong?

Oh, and remember that I prefer not to use either/or situations.
     — NeoWayland
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Societies work best

Societies work best when the moral and legal authorities are separate.
     — NeoWayland
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Legislation and morality

Legislation is not morality, and morality certainly isn't legislation. The distinction must be made. Otherwise politicos wrap themselves in the flag AND hide behind the most convenient faith/moral code they can find. Arguing over morality keeps us honest. We're better when we verbally defend our ideas to people who don't necessarily share our beliefs.
     — NeoWayland
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Show virtue

An individual can show virtue. At best, a label must borrow virtue. Labels will hold most of the blame, though.
     — NeoWayland
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Label

It's not liberalism, it's the label. And it doesn't matter if the label is progressive, conservative, Christian, atheist, or United States Senator. The label has no virtue or vice, no morality, and no inherent worth. It's the individual that owns the outcome of their thoughts, words, and deeds. It's the individual and the individual alone who can take responsibility.
     — NeoWayland
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Core of Christianity

Exclusivity is not the core of Christianity. How Christians live their life is. That shows in how they touch the lives of others.
     — NeoWayland
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Nicer

Christians are a lot nicer to be around when everyone else doesn't have to defer to them. “One path among many” means Christians usually pay attention to what others say. It means Christians have to defend what they say and do without hiding behind scripture.
     — NeoWayland
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Choice & consequences

Recognizing that the choice AND the consequences are mine and mine alone means I'm a rational adult.
     — NeoWayland
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Answers that work

Science isn't about presenting conclusions, it's about finding answers that work.
     — NeoWayland
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Govern

We've been taught that government is supposed to govern and control the other guy.

That's the guy who is the problem.

Not us. Never us. It's not our fault.
     — NeoWayland
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Charity

If I choose to give, that is charity and can be celebrated. If I am manipulated or threatened into giving, that is extortion. I don't care how good the cause is, if I am required to give without my consent, that threatens my freedom. I shouldn't be tricked into it “for my own good” or “for the greater good.” I want to know WHY, and I want an honest answer. I demand the choice to walk away.
     — NeoWayland
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Inspire me

Don't try to shame me with stories of victims, inspire me with the stories of the heroes.
     — NeoWayland
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Entitled because of your pain

You’re not entitled because of your pain. The world is full of pain. You can’t demand charity.

The world needs heroes more than it needs victims.
     — NeoWayland
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Blood of the unbelievers

It's not the gods calling for the blood of the unbelievers. It's the priests. It's the generals. It's the emperors.
     — NeoWayland
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Self-worth

If your moral self worth is defined by either your victimhood or your compassion, then those will be the things you defend. Even principles will take a back seat if “it's for the greater good.” Taking a stand is less important than reversing current oppression or preventing future oppression.
     — NeoWayland
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Tit for tat

Tit for tat. Long term rules means honor brings advantage. Short term rules mean that honor is a disadvantage.
     — NeoWayland
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Aunts & grandmothers

“The men may sit in council but the aunts and the grandmothers shape lives.” Measure a culture by the attention it pays to those not a part of the official leadership structure.
     — NeoWayland
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One side

We have one side of the story which isn't enough to judge.
     — NeoWayland
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Conservaties, progressives, & sex

When it comes to sex, conservatives want to deny choice and progressives want to deny responsibility. I want a world with both.
     — NeoWayland
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A woman's sexual behavior

I'm not responsible for a woman's sexual behavior any more than I am responsible for the color of her shoes. It's her choice and her responsibility. It's not her neighbor's responsibility. It's not society's responsibility.
     — NeoWayland
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Responsible

Don’t hold someone responsible unless they were present, of age, and participating.
     — NeoWayland
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Words matter

Words matter. Actions matter more. Intentions don’t.
     — NeoWayland
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Honor expects

Honor expects three warnings before you act.
     — NeoWayland
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Truth

Let people discover truth before you speak. Make sure the truth is necessary before you speak. Judge if the listener is worthy of truth before you speak.
     — NeoWayland
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Everyone shares a right

It's one of the simplest human guidelines. Everyone shares a right. You don't have it unless the other does.

Privileges exclude people. Only some get privileges. Privileges are not rights, and rights are not privileges.

It's why there are human rights. Most muddy the waters and call privileges rights. Black rights? Christian rights? Police rights? These do not exist. These are privileges that rule out whole classes of people.
     — NeoWayland
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Secret of life

What is the secret of life?

Leave the place a little better than how you found it.
     — NeoWayland
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Wrapped in the flag

When a politico wraps himself in the flag, double check your liberty and count on finding brown stains afterwards.
     — NeoWayland
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Meddle

People love to meddle. They want to control other people “for their own good.” Public education, foreign policy, sub-prime mortgages, all happened because someone thought they knew better and used force to inflict it on everyone else.
     — NeoWayland
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Heroes

The best heroes are the ones who don't know they are heroes before they are needed and still choose standing between harm and another.
     — NeoWayland
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Paradise

There are reasons why the World is not a paradise. One reason is because we silly humans can't agree on what a paradise should be
     — NeoWayland
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A god of love

Personally I prefer Christians when they aren't spouting hellfire in the name of a god of love.
     — NeoWayland
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NeoNotes — Roy Moore and the Decalogue monument - updated

You don't demand that others submit to your religion. If I can object when the Islamists do it, if I can object when the climate change crowd does it, I can damn well object when a theocratic Republican passes it off as religious freedom and tells tales of his "oppression" because of his faith.

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Should adjust

There seems to be a growing number of people who think that the world should adjust to them, while they don't have to show concern for anyone.
     — Thomas Sowell
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Purge a belief system

It's never common sense to purge a belief system, especially when you do it in the name of moral superiority.
     — NeoWayland
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Faith & threats

If you had faith, you wouldn't need threats.
     — NeoWayland
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Pick and choose

You do realize that if “the Bible is all one piece,” you can't pick and choose bits and pieces to quote, don't you? If you eat all your veggies and are especially nice, I won't demand that you start following all those bits in Numbers and Leviticus. We won't talk about the deleted texts now.

How do you suppose those disciples did it? They had to work without a New Testament.
     — NeoWayland
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Enlightened

No matter what the belief system, the truly enlightened don't need to call themselves that.

Or justify it either.
     — NeoWayland
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Some people I trust

I don't think that a magic set of neurons turns on at age 16, 18, or 25. I've said before there are some people I trust at 14 to make a major decision, and some I don't trust to do the same at 40. That's not including sex.
     — NeoWayland
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Age of consent

Age of consent is tied to taking responsibility for your own actions. It's that simple. If you can't take responsibility, you shouldn't do it.
     — NeoWayland
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Free to choose

I am free to choose and free to take responsibility for myself. I am not a child to be threatened into submission. I will not blindly accept your mandates when the Divine and the World beckon.
     — NeoWayland
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Strong women

The really strong women don't depend on government to do it for them.

They don't need to.
     — NeoWayland
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American secret

Here is the American secret. You can occasionally be governed, but you can't be ruled.

That means you can't rule others, no matter how much you disagree with them.
     — NeoWayland
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Moral people

Oddly enough, the most moral people I know don't have to brag about it.
     — NeoWayland
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Definition of liberty

That's today's quick definition of liberty, folks. It's not a right unless the other guy has it too.
     — NeoWayland
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Just in case

Just in case you misunderstand, I don't answer to you. I am who I am, and you don't need my name to understand what I say.
     — NeoWayland
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Make the rules

Why in the World do you think you get to make the rules?
     — NeoWayland
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I recognize Masculine & Feminine in Divinity.

I recognize Masculine & Feminine in Divinity. I seek the Divine in every woman I meet.
     — NeoWayland
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Influences

Children need strong male and female influences in their life.
     — NeoWayland
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❝What I do is not up to you.❞

What I do is not up to you.
     — Wonder Woman (2017 film)
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Ideology

The problem isn't ideology, it's the urge to meddle backed by the use of force.
     — NeoWayland
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What frustrates you

Perhaps what frustrates you most is that you can't denounce my faith without undermining your own. At the end of the day, we don't have anything but our faith. Mine is just as valid as yours by every “objective” measure you trot out.
     — NeoWayland
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Christian message

I don't think the Christian message was ever intended to be confined to dusty writings.
     — NeoWayland
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Free to choose

It's no secret that I believe that free market ideas apply to any human exchange.

Free to choose. It's not just for economics anymore.
     — NeoWayland
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Progress

Progress never comes from satisfaction.
     — NeoWayland
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Move beyond

Usually what you get out of something is what you bring in to something. Most people do not have the means to move beyond their own shadows.
     — NeoWayland
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Dark forces

You're so determined to struggle nobly against dark forces that you can't see what is casting the shadow.
     — NeoWayland
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Faith cannot be given

Faith cannot be given. Faith cannot be taken. To mean anything at all, faith must be chosen freely.
     — NeoWayland
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❝Is the accuser always holy now?❞

Is the accuser always holy now?
     — Arthur Miller, The Crucible
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Govern

Your beliefs shouldn't govern my behavior.
     — anonymous
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Coexist

As a free trade supporter, the downside would be the loss of a free trade zone with the rest of Europe, but I am not sure it can be called a "free trade zone" if they are banning toasters.
     —Warren Meyer, Was Brexit About Racism or Tea Kettles?

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Mirror image

“How ‘Antifa’ Mirrors the ‘Alt-Right’”

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NeoNotes - We need our ideas challenged

I believe that competition makes us honest. I believe that the "free market" applies more to just products and services, it applies to ideas and creeds and politics and practically anything else human. I believe that no one person and no one group has all the answers.

And yes, I know I've said all that before. But for me, it's as certain as the Earth beneath my feet and the stars above my head.

We need our ideas challenged. We need to argue with each other and wave our fingers under each others noses.

We don't need violence in the streets.

We don't need scapegoats.

And we don't need people using some undefined Moral Authority to prevent others from speaking.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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Antifa violence in Berkeley

Masked anarchists violently rout right-wing demonstrators in Berkeley

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NeoNotes — Racism in response to oppression

My critique wasn't intended to capture the movement.

In the various moments however, I see one group excuse their violence and their racism because of their narrative. This one group gets a pass but others do not. That's certainly privilege and it hurts their case.

I've told people before. You want equality, I'll fight with you. You want privilege, I'll fight against you.

I can't take BLC BLM seriously when I read or hear the trash-talk some of the leadership directs at "whites." I'm not the only one. I'm against injustice, I don't think BLC BLM is.

You know the really ironic thing about this conversation? The motto of my political blog Pagan Vigil is "Because LIBERTY demands more than just black and white."



If group A gets something and groups B, C, and E are not allowed, that's a privilege. If things change and group B gets something and groups A, C, E, and H are not allowed, there is still privilege.

The definition of oppression keeps changing. Arguably things were worse for "blacks" in the 1920s after Woodrow Wilson re-segregated the civil service and the military. Not to mention all the Jim Crow laws that were still on the books. While there are issues today, they are no where near what they once were.

One of the biggest issues today is the prison population. This is usually one key argument about how the US is still a racist society. Before we can really look at that though, we should consider if there are some laws that in and of themselves might be unjust. Personally I think it's stupid to arrest people for being under the influence but not arresting people for being drunk. So if we take out all non-violent drug offenders, that reduces the prison population quite a bit. We're left with the violent offenders.

We know that a strong family, especially one with at least two parents, usually means the kids don't break the law. We also know that "black" inner city children in single mother households used to be about 7%, at one point that rose to well over 70% and is still a majority today. We know that this was made possible by well meaning government programs meant to provide. In other words, "the Man" paid single mothers not to get married and raise kids on their own. Yet any talk of reducing these benefits is immediately called racism. It's privilege, it promotes dependency, and yet it's seen as "compassionate." There's racism and oppression for you, but in popular opinion it's a "right." That doesn't mean that single mothers are evil or wrong. It just means that when a majority of households in a given population are single mothers, the kids (and especially the males) are much more likely to push the boundaries and get into trouble.

These aren't the only two things that put more "blacks" in prison, but they are two of the biggest. Yet instead, we hear how cops are racist. These are also two things that would take years, maybe decades to fix.

There are many other things too. Inner city public schools which are more and more like prisons. Public housing projects that displace neighborhoods and quickly become crime infested. Licensing laws that make it almost impossible for small household businesses to get started. These are real oppressions with absolutely devastating results, and yet we're arguing over who gets a slice of the pie. The oppressed demand action from the government and the institutions that are keeping them down. Star Parker does a much better job explaining this is her book Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can Do About It.

Maybe the pie isn't limited. And maybe the person on the street isn't the oppressor.



Peer review? Then the next question will be if the correct peers reviewed it. And that still doesn't answer the real question: Is Star Parker wrong with either her observations or her conclusions?

Look at what happened here. In one reply you've moved from Black Lives Matter to certain Black Lives Matter more than the ones who have not been politically approved. It's Orwell. “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

What critical race theory doesn't tell you is the how and why of institutions, particularly those created to fight one cause or another.

I'm not going to assume the collective guilt. That's not my style, and that's not the way to fix racism.



Critical race theory isn't a part of sociology, it rejects much of sociology. It was designed as a political tool to silence dissent from an approved ideology.

I am not discounting peer review which can be a valuable tool. I just do not think that it should be the only tool, nor do I think that the only certain people should be allowed to do peer review.

I've run into abuse of the latter kind in third wave feminism "scholarship" where ideas aren't even considered for discussion unless the author has been approved.

Those are Star Parker's beliefs, she still has the right to write and talk about them. But she isn't hitting people if they disagree with her.

I was trying to find a quote from Thomas Sowell on critical race theory, but I can't seem to find it.



How widespread is critical race theory outside those who study it? Can it produce predictable models of human behavior? How well does it withstand analysis outside the discipline? These are some of the things that mark a science. At one point I was studying to be a Christian minister, that doesn't make Christianity true. These same things could be said about third wave feminism too. Even more in the case of third wave feminism, how well does it tolerate behavior that goes against what it teaches.

But the people in BLM who aren't hitting people aren't denouncing the people in BLM who are. And there have been pages and pages written about how the leaders of BLM are justified in their racism against "whites" with no one calling them on it.

If BLM is going to denounce the neo-Nazis for being racist and violent, shouldn't they be held to the same standard?



We let generations be victims when they deserved to be heroes.



You seem to want understanding and validation for your sexuality. You won't get that from me. But if you want the right to make your own choices as long as you accept responsibility for those choices, count me in.

Which is more important?

I don't care about BLM's "cause," especially since I think it's only cover for their politics. I care about human rights and making sure everyone has them.

Which is more important?



See, I don't think there are as many oppressors as you do.

Nor do I think that people should take a back seat to talking and solving things because of their skin color, gender, creed, political affiliation, sexuality, gym membership, or the coffee they like. If there is a problem, let's fix it together and figure out who to blame afterwards.



I'm sorry, but this keeps getting more abstract.

What I saw was two groups using violence. One was condemned and the other was not. Both have highly racist members. Both have said and done some despicable things.

Why is the one group that has bigger numbers, much better funding, better political connections called the oppressed and therefore allowed violence without comment?



I don't approve of violence, particularly against bystanders. I said that in the original article.

But if you are going to overlook the violence of one group because they are oppressed, those same standards apply even more against the neo-Nazis. BLM is less oppressed by almost every measure you can name.

You keep excusing BLM and antifa's behavior. I don't. Not because I support the neo-Nazis, but because any excuse for violence is wrong. The fact that many BLM leaders are actively and openly racist and that BLM is constantly involved in violence even without neo-Nazis is enough to tell me that BLM is just another gang demanding tribute. Just as people were wrong to support the KKK in it's heyday, people are wrong to support BLM today.



I'm saying that by the standards that you yourself used, the neo-Nazis are more oppressed than BLM is. Do I agree? No. Do I think that the racism and violence of the neo-Nazis is despicable? Yes. Do I think that the racism and violence of BLM is despicable? Yes.

BLM shouldn't get a free pass. Excusing behavior usually encourages more bad behavior.

In this specific case, I think BLM and antifa came spoiling for a fight and they want moral justification.



Pardon, this conversation was never about white privilege.

It was never about me denying that people are oppressed. It was never about me, period. What we have is two groups that have used violence and racism. Violence and racism are terrible things.

One group gets excused and the other does not.

Yet the bigger group, the better funded group, the group with the better political connections, the group with academic support, blames the other for all the violence and racism **People deliberately excuse them from the consequences.** They get what they want with minimal costs. This leads to further bad behavior. Which is then excused.

I've pointed out that it was good intentions of the FedGov that has kept people trapped in poverty and crime. I can't and won't be responsible for something that happened before I was born. As a libertarian, I won't take responsibility for government failure. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow, that's the history that I can do something about.

It's not about me. It's about the behavior I've seen and experienced.

There's a story about how after the assassination of MLK, Jesse Jackson came out waving a bloody shirt. The shirt didn't belong to Dr. King, it couldn't have given the timing. Yet there was Jackson, waving the shirt, accusing everyone in sight. Because even if they had nothing to do with the shooting, they should have done something. Even if it wasn't possible, they should have done something, faster, louder.

Jackson was aiming to be the new face of civil rights, and unfortunately he mostly succeeded. He turned it into an extortion racket in the 1970s and 1980s. If Jackson said that company X was racially insensitive, the company paid him off and he said the company had mended their ways.

That's how I see BLM, only with more thugs.

In Shelby Steele's White Guilt, he argues that the real problem is not racial oppression but white guilt. There are many people who have gotten power and money exploiting that guilt. I won't be a party to it.

You seem like a nice enough person. You and I are not going to agree on this issue. We can't even agree on what the issue is. I do think your heart is in the right place.

NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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For future reference - What Trump first said about Charlottesville

“Trump Defends White-Nationalist Protesters: 'Some Very Fine People on Both Sides'”

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Friday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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NeoNotes — Consider historical context to violence

What is to stop someone else from deciding that it's a good cause to thump you over the head? Once the excuses start, what's to protect you from the politics of the day?

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☆ Circus of hate

One last piece about the Charlottesville circus. Then on to other things, I promise.

When I first read about Charlottesville, the first thing that flashed in my head was an image of an ex-military type grabbing an antifa and a neo-Nazi by the necks and shaking. There should be an adult right there disciplining the misbehaving children. Except we were told that the antifa were fighting the good fight. We kept hearing about how terrible the neo-Nazis were and how they should be forcibly removed. We didn't hear about how bad the antifa were. And when some of us pointed out that antifa also attacked people, well, that rated an attack right there. “False equivalence!” we heard. Nazi ideas were so very much worse than anything antifa said.

Apparently no one could possibly oppose the neo-Nazi violence and the antifa violence at the same time. If you did criticize the antifa, you were lumped in with the Nazis. Not because of what you said or did, but because you didn't support the struggle against the forces of racism and fascism and marginalization. The antifa were brave despite the institutionalized oppression they dared to fight in the name of victimized people everywhere.

Except the antifa have heavy political support. Some of their funding comes from Soros organizations. Some politicos look the other way when it comes to illegal antifa activities.

Charlottesville specifically looked like a setup. The antifa heavily outnumbered the neo-Nazis. The governor and the mayor didn't seem interested in keeping the peace. Police weren't acting like police. Some officers even said they were ordered to stand down.

It was a Roman circus, a spectacle to distract the crowds. The neo-Nazis looked scary, but the noble antifa would soon dispatch them. Once again the heroic forces of good would triumph over the unenlightened. Blood would flow into the sands.

Yep, it was almost as if it were scripted. A myth for the ages.

Grand spectacle.

For your amusement.

With clearly defined winners and losers.

Morality would win, even if it meant breaking the law in the name of the greater good.

Nahh, I thought. You're imagining things. Even you couldn't be that paranoid and cynical. That would require a level of political manipulation unheard of since…

Since the last presidential election. Since the ongoing media campaign against Donald Trump. Since the astroturf effort to convince Congress that campaign finance was a grassroots demand for change. Since the climate change alarmists. Since the introduction of gender fluidity in public school curriculum.

Well, blistering blue blazes.

I had bought into it. While I had focused on saying that violent protest was unacceptable, the media had established the new Utterly Despicable Villains in American myth.

And if you dared hesitate too long before denouncing the Utterly Despicable Villains and all they stood for, well then, you lost your Moral Authority™ to speak at all.

And like a fool, I walked into it with my eyes wide open.

I had been had.

I'm sure there was no central office planning it. Just a bunch of like-minded opportunists who saw a chance to prove that the American Dream was fatally flawed. That the song of freedom draws on an Unpardonable Sin that persisted to this very day! That the American flag was eternally stained with the blood of the oppressed. There could be no hope in liberty. It was all a lie.

Something stinks.

We still have time to fix this. We can't let this deceit become the prevailing myth.

America still does have a Dream. We can make a better World for ourselves and our children. Sure, we'll make mistakes, but we'll fix them. Nothing is carved in stone except the promise of a better tomorrow if we try hard enough. Our sins and our mistakes are our own. Recognizing those mistakes, fixing those mistakes, learning from those mistakes, that's the foundation we need. We're not locked into the sins of our fathers. Blame does not lead to the future.

Hope and liberty do. Take yours, if you dare.
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Violence

“…guard even his enemy from oppression.”

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Statues

“What to do with Confederate Statues?”

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Speech wars

The internet is the last, best hope for freedom.

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“Brother Offers Support To Sister In Car Wash”

“The brother of a girl hilariously terrified of a car wash comforts her on the backseat as she cries to go home.”

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from crux № 7 — age of consent

I think the age of consent is the best rule anyone has come up with so far.

But let's not kid ourselves.

The whole post WWII extended childhood thing is an artificial American invention.

The biology disagrees.

Before we start talking about the morality, we need to acknowledge that.

If we insist that kids wait until 18, 19, 25, or 37 we need a good reason.



Sometimes the kids do know. Most of the time in fact, if they know they will be held responsible for it.

Sometimes the adults don't know, no matter what the age. Any one going to a bar to hook up isn't being rational.

Sometimes the experience of making mistakes and having to deal with the consequences are the things that make us wise.



I know that for you, marriage and sex should be (ahem) wedded at the hip. I don't think it's a universal one size fits all solution though.

I do like your condition of marriage though.



I wouldn't call it loosening. I would call it changing.

I'd also say that it's necessary. Some of the social mores of the last two centuries needed to be dropped. For example, child labor under terrible conditions and for terrible pay used to be the norm.

The rules that work, we should keep. But you can't do change without testing all the rules constantly.

I started keeping my crux files because I noticed I kept getting into the same discussions in comment threads on other people’s web sites. After a while it just made sense for me to organize my thoughts by topic. These are snippets. It’s not in any particular order, it’s just discussions I have again and again.
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On public statues

Why should a city, state, or federal government put statues in public parks? Doing so addresses no plausible market failure, while using taxpayers funds and, as demonstrated tragically over the past few weeks, generates controversy, polarization, and violence. Thus governments should take down all statues, regardless of their political implications.

This is not “erasing” history but instead leaving it where it belongs, in the hands of private actors and mechanisms. Historians, textbook authors, universities, learned societies, the History Channel, and many other individuals and organizations can all present their own views of history and battle for the hearts and minds of the public. Government statues are government putting its thumb on the scale, which is one step down the slippery slope of thought control.
     — Jeffrey Miron, Statues

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“I Don't Care About Charlottesville, the KKK, or White Supremacy”

“Black people have scarier things on the horizon than the almost endangeblurb species of white supremacy.”

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☆ This last week in free speech

This article is cross posted at Pagan Vigil and Technopagan Yearnings. Feel free to repost as long as you credit me and one of those two sites.

Let’s talk about the mess that took over my life this last week. I had a hunch I could be in deep on Friday night when I got some phone calls asking me what libertarians had to do with Charlottesville, Virginia.

Some know I don’t like email and a few have my number. If I had company over or if I had been watching a decent movie, I probably wouldn’t have answered the calls. This was the first I had heard of Charlottesville. I thought at first they were talking about Charlotte, North Carolina. I poked around on the internet and found out about a torchlit protest. Hey, I told folks, they have a right to free speech too. As long as they don’t burn anything down or do any other property damage, it was no skin off my nose.

I didn’t agree with what white nationalists and neo-Nazis stood for, but that is what free speech is all about. They could protest all they wanted as long as they followed the law.

But, all my callers said, it’s hate speech.

So? I replied. I threw out the quote (from me) I had been using for a few months.

I am certainly against Nazism, supremacist groups, and misogyny. I just think they SHOULD be heard, if for no other reason than they can be laughed off the stage.

As loudly and as enthusiastically as we can.
I said that no libertarian would support bigotry. I could see the issues about protecting the statues and I thought that deserved a very public discussion. But the racist chants shouldn’t have anything to do with that. It was two different issues and they shouldn’t be mixed.

After the sixth or so call, the landline and the cell were both quiet. “Nice job,” I thought to myself. Another crisis averted. The folks I talked to would know that libertarians and Libertarians weren’t neo-Nazis or white nationalists. I patted myself on the back.

Then came Saturday. And I got flooded with emails. By Saturday night the phones were ringing.

I should explain. About twelve years back someone at Stormfront discovered Pagan Vigil and decided that I was something I am not. Some of my writings were passed around the internet. Worse, I was quoted out of context. Then some of my stuff was rewritten to make it seem that I supported certain causes and certain ideas. That took forever to mostly fix. But there are pockets left.

Then there was the mess from Florida. Long story short, white nationalists tried to co-opt part of the state Libertarian party. They were kicked out.

But here I was, a libertarian with supposed white nationalist ties. And a (scary? sexy? spooky?) pagan to boot. What did I have to say about vehicular homicide at a neo-Nazi rally?

Free speech is acceptable.

Unprovoked violence is not.

And you’d better be damn careful about “provoked” violence. Especially at a public protest.

People have the right to talk about their beliefs. People don’t have the right to impose those beliefs on others.

If you use force so others will listen, you’re doing it wrong.

All of the above went over pretty well. Here’s what didn’t.

I said that if the neo-Nazis were wrong to use violence first and not in self defense, so were the BLM members, the antifa, and the black bloc who had been doing exactly that for years. If you were a member of the right group, the authorities were mostly looking the other way. Mob violence had become part of American political culture again, and it wasn’t the neo-Nazis or the white nationalists who had made that happen.

Or for that matter, the Christian right, the Republicans, or the libertarians.

Violence was being used to shut down political discussion. What’s more, some groups were claiming moral authority because they had been victimized by American society. No one would be allowed to criticize if the proper groups were involved.

This. Was. Wrong.

This lay the groundwork for tyranny.

As you can imagine, those last five paragraphs did not go over well.

BLM, antifa, and the black bloc weren’t allowed to be guilty no matter what they have done or what they will do.

Anyone who says different is a racist. A fascist.

A Nazi.

And they must not be allowed to speak. At all. Under any circumstances. They must be silenced.

That’s when the pagan stuff started hitting the fan. If a pagan did not IMMEDIATELY drop everything and denounce the neo-Nazis and link them AND ONLY THEM to unprovoked violence, why, they were no better than the Nazis.

And therefore they must not be allowed to speak. At all. Under any circumstances. They must be silenced.

Suddenly free speech was only for the Morally Favored.

This made me angry. Not only was paganism getting dragged into a political situation (AGAIN) that favored progressives, but people were literally talking about Those Who Should Have Free Speech and Those Who MUST NOT BE ALLOWED Free Speech. Violence was ACCEPTABLE against Those Who MUST NOT BE ALLOWED Free Speech. The whole mess was pushing my buttons. I’m afraid I wasn’t always polite about it.

So that was my week. It cropped up again and again. Phone calls, face to face talks, internet discussion boards, and gods, the emails. People couldn’t or wouldn’t accept one simple idea. Take away someone else’s free speech today and you will lose yours tomorrow. Not might, will. The only sure way to protect your free speech is to protect other’s free speech. Even if you don’t like what they are saying.

Especially if you don’t like what they are saying.

Noam Chomsky (of all people) said something very similar.

Goebbels was in favor of free speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you’re really in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely the views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech.

That’s who I am. That’s where I stand. A right isn’t a right unless the other guy has it too.

     — NeoWayland, pagan philosopher, libertarian, and part time troublemaker

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NeoNotes — Religion in public schools

I don't think religion belongs in the public schools. Public schools are compulsory, students can't walk away if they do not agree.

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Morality is based on selfish interest

I can make a case that our morality is based on selfish interest. It's the Ethic of Reciprocity. You don't do bad things to others because you don't want them to do bad things to you. You do good things to others because you want them to do good things to you. If they cross the line, you're not bound to tolerance and courtesy.
     — NeoWayland
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Don't be a sucker

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“Charlottesville & The Alt-Right: Just Say NO to Identity Politics”

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“John Stossel vs. Noam Chomsky on Venezuela”

Yep, it was almost as if it were scripted. A myth for the ages - revised

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Tuesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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from crux № 22 — law did not create civil rights

No law required people to march in protest. No law demanded a sit-in at Woolworth's lunch counter. The changes were happening before the act was passed.

I'd say that in many ways the 1964 act froze that change. People weren't responsible any more, it was government's job. Add a changing civil rights movement leadership that put guilt politics and special privilege over equal rights, and you get one big gooey mess.

It's been 50 years since the Civil Rights Act was passed. Do we still need it because we locked people into a lower social class? When will those who benefit from the 1964 act not need it anymore?

I started keeping my crux files because I noticed I kept getting into the same discussions in comment threads on other people’s web sites. After a while it just made sense for me to organize my thoughts by topic. These are snippets. It’s not in any particular order, it’s just discussions I have again and again.
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from crux № 8 — rights & revised history

Folks probably already know this, but this brand of revisionism uses hard confrontation with constantly escalating stakes. You can't win against it by being loud, that just makes you the closest and biggest target.



There have been many terrible things done in the name of an absolute, "transcendent" morality. Many by Christians. Many by Christians to Christians. And many by Christians to Christians in the last century alone.

A label doesn't define morality. In the words of Mark Twain, "Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often."

I'd rather know what someone has done than what they call themselves.



I have defended rights for homosexuals in comment threads on this site.

I want to make a distinction here. What the radical feminists are "fighting" for are not rights, but exclusive and irrevocable privileges backed by the force of law.

Rights do not emanate from a state, nor do they require state sanction or approval.

Most importantly, it's not a right unless the other guy has it too.

I tell people that I am not for Native American rights, homosexual rights, "black" rights, or women's rights.

I'm for human rights.

And you should be too.

I started keeping my crux files because I noticed I kept getting into the same discussions in comment threads on other people’s web sites. After a while it just made sense for me to organize my thoughts by topic. These are snippets. It’s not in any particular order, it’s just discussions I have again and again.
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“What is a Libertarian?”

This is the 1963 speech that Dr. King is best known for. It is the core of the 1960s Civil Rights movement.

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Friday roundup

The Google Memo: Four Scientists Respond

Google doesn't believe in diversity of thought. Related - The Most Common Error in Media Coverage of the Google Memo, Google Fires Engineer For Noticing Men And Women Are Different, The Google Firing Demonstrates That Identity Politics Is Incoherent and Vicious & Google is more afraid of liberal outrage than federal law


Graphic Video Shows Cops Hold Down Handcuffed Teen, Torture Him With Taser—For Sleeping in Truck

Why haven't these police officers been charged with assault?


The Guy Who Invented Those Annoying Password Rules Now Regrets Wasting Your Time

The rules don't work. Pay attention to the XKCD comic mentioned in the article.


Obama administration knew about North Korea's miniaturized nukes

That Pentagon report that has everyone worried lately? It's from April of 2013. The Obama administration was notorious for released revised news and figures later, usually on Friday when no one was paying attentinon.


Justice Officials Sent Talking Points to FBI on Lynch Tarmac Meeting With Bill Clinton

I'd say this qualifies as suspicious.


Venezuela inflation quickens to 248.6 percent in year to July: opposition

Socialism fails every time it's tried.


A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year’s DNC Hack

This one is from The Nation. It's the first major left wing source that even admitted that it may not be the Russians.


The Afghan War Doesn't Need to Be Privatized—It Needs to Be EndedSo when does the perpetual war end?


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Wednesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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NeoNotes — the Johnson amendment

Let me point out that tax exempt status is at best a "devil's trade." In exchange for the tax deduction, the organizations (and sometimes the officers) lose their political voice and the IRS gets itemized lists of what was donated and who donated it.

There's also the small bit that if there are tax deductions, then by definition taxes are too high.

However, Religion cannot be allowed the coercive power of government. Government cannot be allowed the moral justification of religion.



The 1st Amendment doesn't deal with subsets. The incredibly ironic bit is the history of churches in American politics, particularly the abolitionist movement.

I didn't say it was a complete list, I said it was an itemized list. It is enough to find "known associates" though.

Tax deductions are evidence that taxes are too high. It's also evidence of diverting capital, taking it away from unapproved activities and moving it towards approved activities. There's more, but it involves a long examination of progressive tax systems and it won't add anything but noise to our conversation.



Abraham Keteltas, Samuel West, Jonathan Mayhew, Peter Muhlenberg, and Samuel Cooper were just some of the colonial era ministers. In England for a while, the American Revolution was called the Presbyterian Revolution because so many Presbyterian pastors were involved.

But the abolitionist movement and the American Civil War was when things really got going. Look at names like John Todd, Joshua Leavitt, Benjamin Bradford, Luther Lee, and Samuel Salisbury. Without these men and their churches, the abolitionist movement would never have blossomed. Christians aren't perfect and I am certainly a critic. But it took British and American Christians to end the slave trade, they deserve credit for that.

The 1950s-1960s civil rights movement was heavily rooted in churches, especially in the American south.

As I said, the tax exempt status is a "devil's trade" intended in large part to silence churches.



I provided examples which at the very least would have violated the propaganda restrictions of the Johnson amendment if it had been in effect then. Yet those are a valued part of American history and important benchmarks in religious freedom.

A little further examination would have shown that American churches and synagogues have traditionally called politicos out on bad ideas and bad behavior.



It's not about "prophesy of the pulpit." It's about moral authority. Ideas like liberty, revolution, and slavery were talked about during worship. In those days more than anything else including the press, worship is where those ideas were set out in detail by men who made their living communicating well and clearly. I admit it's a part of history that is often overlooked, but it exists none the less.

Take a closer look. The Johnson amendment covers both endorsement and anti-endorsement, intervening in political campaigns is prohibited. It also limits lobbying, propaganda, and other political activity.

Pagans of all people know what a bad idea it is when a politico wraps themselves in the flag and waves holy writ as justification.

BTW, I have to give you points for that phrase "prophesy of the pulpit." It's poetic if not exactly accurate in this case.



You're right, that part of the law is seldom enforced. I was waiting for someone to bring that up.

So here is my next question. If the law as it exists is so potentially prone to abuse even as it is not enforced, why does the Johnson amendment exist?

My theory is that it was one of Johnson's infamous deals. In the early 1950s, the modern civil rights movement was just getting started, but the split was already there. It's a little inaccurate, but I call the two sides the MLK side and the Malcolm X side. Later the Malcolm X side was dominated by the Black Panthers, but that part of the story isn't necessary for our discussion here.

The MLK side wanted to work within the system making sure that existing law was enforced. The Malcolm X side relied on direct confrontation to create radical change and separate from the US if necessary. There was rivalry between the two sides, and at the time no one was sure which side would dominate. Johnson saw the potential need for what today we would call the nuclear option. As long as everything proceeded peacefully, the government would never need to use the stick. Meanwhile, everything was nicely registered and reported to the government, "just in case."

It wasn't the first time the IRS was used to monitor Americans and it wouldn't be the last.



You're right. I should have said existing Constitutional law, that was my mistake.

That wasn't the only operational difference, but it certainly was one of the most important. Bryan Burrough points out in Days of Rage that some "blacks" were disappointed as more moved north and they didn't instantly get more of what they felt had been denied them.

Existing state and local law in the south supported segregation, most Federal law did not. It varied in other states, not so much in the West but heavy in union states. When Truman reversed Wilson's segregation of the armed forces, the writing was on the wall.



Under what part of the 1st Amendment is Congress granted the power to regulate free speech?

Under what part of the 1st Amendment is Congress granted the power to regulate religion?

Yet the Johnson amendment does both.

Which tax argument? The fact that deductions mean that taxes are too high? Or that government uses a progressive tax code to encourage some behaviors and discourage others?

Can you show that either argument is BS?



Actually it does.

The perception in America is that you are not a "real" church unless you have tax exempt certification. Just like a few years back when conservative groups were having problems getting 503 certification, most people don't want to give money unless they know that the IRS is not going to audit them. The easy path is to do what the government tells you to do. That is not necessarily the right thing. Once a group has the certification, they are bound by the regulations if they wish to keep the majority of their donors. Those regulations are subject to change at any time, and have gotten more restrictive since the Johnson amendment was passed.

Every dollar that the government collects in taxes reduces individual purchasing power. Regardless of what some experts will tell you, the economy is driven by the individual buying goods and services and not by government regulation. More money, more purchases (or savings). Less money, more credit, less purchases and less savings.

Even if you think that only the "rich" pay higher taxes, that means less money for things like jobs, equipment, and expansion. That means less economic growth.

The second order effects of special taxes can be even worse. A few decades ago, Congress put out a luxury tax on high end planes, yachts, high end boats, and cars. All those industries took a major hit. Building and storing yachts and high end boats still haven't recovered.

It gets worse. Thanks to payroll withholding and "standard" deductions, the government effectively gives itself no-interest loans from your money. Multiply that by a hundred million or so and you get into some serious cash.

These are examples from taxes. I haven't discussed currency manipulation (inflation) or spending.



"Surely by your argument, there should be no tax exempt organizations at all, because the very existence of them proves taxes are too high."

Yes.

At the very least, no tax exempt organizations would mean fewer bureaucrats to monitor compliance and regulate.

"Government money goes back into the community and absolutely does stimulate economic growth."

It does that by displacing private investment. Private money wants a return on investment, which means maintaining facilities and periodic upgrades. Except for corporatism, companies stay in business by making their products better, cheaper, and more available.

"The rich actually mostly sock money away…"

Um, no they don't. There isn't a money vault or a stuffed mattress, smart people put their money to work. Some buy stocks, some buy bonds, some invest in companies. Unless the money earns a higher yield than the rate of inflation and the tax rate, it's worth less.

"…and pay LOWER taxes than the rest of us…"

According to the National Taxpayer Union Foundation, in 2014 the top ten percent of income earners paid 70.88% of the income tax. The top fifty percent of income earners paid 97.25% of the income tax.

Spending is not the same as taxing. Government at all levels has done a rotten job of maintaining facilities, much less upgrading them. Private ownership does wonders, as things like the Empire State Building show.

Government usually puts money aside for infrastructure and then diverts the money into more "essential" things. It's one of the oldest tricks in government accounting. Then more money is "needed."

What's more, government is a lousy judge of where to spend and what to spend it on. Just as one example, less than a handful of VA hospitals are worth it, but we keep tossing more and more money at the problem.

NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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The BA Christmas bonus

When Richard Branson's airline won $945,000 from a lawsuit, he gave it all to his employees

Three decades after after its launch, Virgin Atlantic is the second-largest UK carrier. "But it hasn't always been easy ... during those 33 years," the founder writes in a letter to his employees.

Most notably, when Branson's airline was trying to establish itself in the 1990s, British Airways ran what became known as the "dirty tricks" campaign.

"We had about four planes flying, and [British Airways] went to extraordinary lengths to put us out of business," recalls Branson on an episode of NPR's "How I Built This" podcast. "They had a team of people illegally accessing our computer information and ringing up our passengers and pretending that they were from Virgin, telling them that flights were cancelled and switching them onto BA."

Virgin took British Air to court and won $945,000 in damages, the largest libel settlement in UK history. Branson chose to invest the money back into his Virgin Atlantic team.

"It was Christmas time," he tells Raz. "It became known as the BA Christmas bonus — we distributed it to all our staff equally."
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from crux № 13 — Competiton

Competition drives the free market, to keep customers companies have to make things better than their rivals and better than what they themselves did yesterday.

Competition is what the "single payer" eliminates in the name of efficiency, yet over time competition means that products and services will be better, faster, and cheaper.

There is no incentive to improve under a government controlled system. There is overwhelming incentive to pay off legislators and technocrats for favorable treatment.



I'm usually correct.

Except when I'm wrong… *grins*

Jokes aside, you probably agree with me on economics, smaller government and (most) individual rights. We won't agree on religion, personal morality, and sexuality. I hope we can agree on honor.

I hang out here to keep me honest and so I can see how conservatives think. And occasionally to keep you honest *wink* and keep you from taking yourself too seriously.



I just get very tired of watching people who should know better lump all members of a group into a monolithic block who is out to destroy their way of life and must be Stopped for the Good of Humanity™

The ironic thing is many of the people who complain loudest about it being done to them are only too willing to turn around and do it to someone else.

I've seen pagans do it to Christians, "blacks" do it to "Hispanics," Republicans do it to Democrats, and women doing it to men.

And vice versa.

You know what? It's not the label shouting and doing things, it's the individual person. Until you deal them as individuals rather than as a subset of a label, you have walled yourself off.

Not them. You.



Thinking about it just now, that raises a fascinating question.

Which is worth more, a moral code handed to you or one earned through personal experience?



I'm not asking you to follow my code.

I'm not even asking you to allow me to follow my code.

I'm telling you that I won't follow your code just as you would tell me that you won't follow mine.

Now we could find what we agree on and work from there, or you could spend effort telling me why your enlightenment requires my sacrifice.

I think the former would be more productive, but I would enjoy your frustration at the latter too.

I started keeping my crux files because I noticed I kept getting into the same discussions in comment threads on other people’s web sites. After a while it just made sense for me to organize my thoughts by topic. These are snippets. It’s not in any particular order, it’s just discussions I have again and again.

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“Why Did the Democratic South Become Republican?” from Prager University

“The south used to vote Democrat. Now it votes Republican. Why the switch? Was it, as some people say, because the GOP decided to appeal to racist whites? Carol Swain, Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University, explains.”

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NeoNotes — Civil Rights acts - updated

If the Civil Rights Act of 1866 had worked, there would have been a need for another in 1871, in 1875, in 1957, in 1964, a Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Fair Housing Act of 1968, the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, and the Civil Rights Act of 1991.

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Only religious activities

Palo Alto Cracks Down On Neighborhood Churches

The city of Palo Alto is cracking down on churches that are trying to cut costs by subletting their space.

The clock is ticking for one church, which has been told all its tenants have to get out in a few weeks, or face severe fines.

The First Baptist Church has been on the same street corner in Palo Alto, serving the poor and needy, for 125 years.

But after a brief, informal meeting with city code enforcement officers earlier this year, Pastor Rick Mixon suddenly got a sternly worded letter from the city, telling him he must cease all non-religious activities, and that his tenants, which include a music school, a psychologist, and the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center, to get out by August 17 or face severe fines.

Mixon said, “In order to operate here, to keep it looking good, looking nice in a nice neighborhood, we need to rent the space. It represents about a third of our budget right now.”

For years, the church has rented the space on the second floor to music classes, choirs, dance clubs, and hosted dinners and weddings.
     — Kiet Do

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Oh really?

Somehow I don't believe this.

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☆ Other people's property

People look for better value if it's their own money at stake.

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One thing I wish I could literally pound into Christian heads

If there is one thing I wish I could literally pound into Christian heads, it's this: Christianity is not the source of all that is good and righteous in our society. Other cultures and other faiths have contributed heavily. It's amazing that I even have to mention this where one house of the national legislature is called the Senate and the other has a ceremonial fasces. Even The Magnificent Seven was a remake.
     — NeoWayland
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Morality & character

Our problem is that we excuse people from the consequences.

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“The War On Cars”

“There is a war against cars in America. Regulators want Americans out of cars and onto trains, buses, and bicycles. Why? Because of what cars represent -- freedom. Automotive expert Lauren Fix ("The Car Coach") explains.”

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from crux № 18 — choice and consequence

Our problem is that we excuse people from the consequences.

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NeoNotes — ban it

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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“Thomas Sowell - Misconceptions About Slavery”

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“Penn Jillette on Libertarianism, Taxes, Trump, Clinton and Weed”

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NeoNotes — enabling racism

My mom's family is Louisiana farming stock. My natural father was not around long enough for me to know his family. I was born in Ganado, one of the few bilagáana born on the Navajo reservation. I've lived my entire life in the four state region, and I've lived with casual racism from the very first.

Without exception, the worst racism I've seen has been enabled by government. It could be keeping inner city mothers pregnant and unmarried. It could be hiring "tokens" when they weren't qualified. It could be stealing mineral rights while keeping tribal governments from hiring capable attorneys. But mostly it's keeping certain groups of people dependent on government daily. Always, they're told how they are victims. Always, they are told that only government can give them a fair shake. Always, they are told that Nasty People want to keep them down. And as long as they stay dependent, things never get better for them.

That's the tyranny that is rooted in progressivism and other forms of statism.

NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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NeoNotes — public accommodation law is wrong - updated

I wonder too.

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“Why Social Justice is CANCER ” by Roaming Millennial

“Yes, social justice is cancer, and here's why. This video explains what social justice is & breaks down the problem with identity politics & the concept of justice vs. equality. Also SJWs are commies. Yeah.”

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Association

People look for better value if it's their own money at stake.

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The label tells me almost nothing

I've met bad Pagans and good Christians, rotten agnostics and good atheists, decent Satanists and iffy heathens. The label tells me almost nothing, but the individual behavior tells me almost everything.
     — NeoWayland

There's no virtue or vice in the label. It's our words and deeds that define us.
     — NeoWayland
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NeoNotes — Marriage revisted

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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NeoNotes — Religion enshrined in law

Simple questions.

Why should any religion be enshrined in law? Raised above all others as THE Moral Standard?

Perhaps more importantly, would you accept it if it were not your religion?

Or at least something calling itself your religion.



Pardon, but that isn't the question.

Why should any religion be enshrined in law?

Shouldn't faith be between you and the Divine?

Shouldn't religion be your choice and not imposed on you by some government functionary?

Coke may be less disagreeable than Pepsi, but I don't want armed special agents making sure I drink it.



Only if you think government must be predicated on or derived from religion.

Which, thankfully, the Founders did not.



But it's not about if religions are "equal" or not.

It's about if a single religion should be enshrined in law. And what happens if you are not a member of the religion that is made part of law.

Should you be bound by a religion you are not a part of?



Yep, I did. And for very good reason.

I also said this:

Perhaps more importantly, would you accept it if it were not your religion?



I've really tried to be polite on this board, but believe when I say I've seen more than enough Christian intolerance to last me several lifetimes. It's not every Christian, but it is there. Nor are Christians alone in their intolerance.

What I am trying to say is that by making religion a part of government you're setting the grounds for much more intolerance.

Even if you stuck to Christians, you'd be asking for trouble. Should Catholics have precedence over Baptists? What about the Mormons and the Methodists?



Yep, that happens too.

But when someone defines intolerance as everyone else not putting that someone's religion over every thing else, well, the someone crossed the line and they are fair game.



No, that isn't what I said.

Look at what Moore said in the article. He's talking about defending Christianity in the law. And creating more law that incorporates "Christian principles."

"Do not murder." That's a good idea. It also predates Christianity by quite a bit and is shared by many cultures and faiths.

"Do not murder because of the Ten Commandments and what Jesus said." That's not the same thing and it adds baggage to something that should be simple.



Pardon, but that is an opinion.

My gods prefer that people work it out for themselves.

That's an opinion too.



You mean other than Roy Moore up there in the original post?

You’re talking about overturning God’s natural order ….

That's certainly a religious point of view.



Nondenominational? Ah, I see.

It's only the Christians that need apply? You don't need the Jews.

I live next to the Navajo reservation. Will you exclude the Sky People?

One of my neighbors three doors down is a Buddhist. Doesn't she get a say?

One of my companions is an atheist. She's also one of the wisest women I know. Should she get a say?

Why or why not?



And I've answered it several times, twice directly.

When you assume that government is based on a religion you are imposing and enshrining that religion.

When it comes to religion becoming the law of the land, the devout don't need it, the non-believers don't want it, and the politicos will corrupt it.



Then why is Roy Moore making so much noise?



I'm not demanding that you give up your faith.

I'm asking why religion should be enshrined in law.

Faith is between you and the Divine, no other person can change that. It's up to you and your choices.

I'm asking for no sacrifice unless you believe that your religion should govern the faith and religion of others.

And if that's the case, I'm asking why.



No, actually we weren't.

The U.S. Constitution doesn't mention the Christian God except in the date.

It's wholly remarkable in that it may well be the first document in history that didn't claim government power derived from the Divine.

Men of faith and men of reason deliberately chose not to make a public declaration of religion even as they acknowledged it's role in individual action.

They knew that faith must be chosen, not compelled.



Talk about timing…

I always find it amazing when I have to point out the U.S. was not founded as a "Christian nation" when one house of the national legislature is called the Senate.

I've written about this many times before. But please don't take my word for it.

http://www.usconstitution.net

That's a site created to explore and explain the Constitution. Look for yourself. Try to find any mention of the Bible or the Divine.



Considering the custom of the times, omitting "those words" was even more revolutionary than the Declaration of Independence and the battles that followed.

Again, that doesn't mean that the Founders weren't devout. It does mean that they knew about the English Civil War and the problems caused by some colonies and their religious restrictions.

I'd like to think that each of the Founders decided that if his church wasn't going to be "top dog," no one else's would be either.

And that is why Roy Moore is wrong.



Can you show where I'm wrong?



The question you should be asking yourself is not if the Founders were religious or if the U.S. was founded as a "Christian nation."

No, the question is why the Founders, among the best educated men of their time, chose not to make the Constitution dependent on any faith.

I'll give you a hint. Too many people are in religion for the politics.



I am, and it relates to the question in the title of the post.

If anyone thinks their religion needs the force of law to back it up, then they are doing it wrong.

The law should neither help nor hinder religion. But no religion should rely on force either.



If it's a straw man, then why did Roy Moore say what he did?

There's a difference between personal faith and public policy.



Pardon, but I think that's wrong.

It's not that the American people hate the Divine. And I don't think they may object because it is a Christian policy.

I think they object because it is a religious rule made policy.

NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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Supervillian territory

George Soros wants to disrupt society so government steps in and he can profit. The man is a secret lair away from supervillian territory.
     — NeoWayland

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❝One True Islam? | The Moderate Imam & Westernization❞ by Roaming Millennia

“In light of my interview with Imam Tawhidi, this video looks at whether Islam a religion of peace & compatible with the West, why the left always defends it, & whether moderate Muslims exist.”

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☆ Sins of the skin

I'm behind this week. I had issues with my blogging program..

Why is it that everyone is allowed to be proud of their ethnic heritage unless you're "white?"

And then there's "white privilege."

"If you can't see it, you've got it."

Guess what. That's racist.

Yes, you read that right. It's racist. People are being blamed because of their skin color. No matter what they say, no matter what they do, They Are Guilty and Can Not Be Redeemed. You can't get more racist than that.

They are not only guilty, but they are responsible for the actions and attitudes of people long dead.

Well, isn't that a kick in the pants. I can only speak for me.

I won't humble myself and acknowledge the sins of my skin color.

I won't abase myself.

I won't sacrifice my pride and power before their “need.”


Why not? Because I didn't do anything. You want to be a victim? Fine. Go do it somewhere else.

You want some help so you can stop being a victim? Then let's talk. Let's see what we can do.

Yes, the United States was not perfect when it was founded. There were a bunch of rich, "white" men running around controlling everything. Things got better. The US helped destroy the international slave trade. Women got the vote. Some of our greatest today aren't rich, "white", or male. Things got better. It's not perfect now. But we're getting better. That's the promise.

If you are not responsible for the sins of your ancestors, then neither is anyone else. Neither am I.

If you take pride in your ancestry, then so can anyone else. So can I.

Why?

Because I am not guilty for my ancestors.

My skin color doesn't make me racist.

Can you say the same?

We're human. Let's build on that. Let's start with today. Let's limit our judgement to what the individual has said and done.

Let's not blame the skin color. Or privilege. Or what we think they think.

Just what is said. Just what is done.

Can you live with that?

I can. Do we have a deal?

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NeoNotes — internet tactics

I pointed out before that dismissing arguments unheard and without even a cursory search to see if there is any validity just makes you look foolish and uninformed.

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Biggest and hardest lesson

The biggest and hardest lesson that I've had to learn is that no one group has THE answer, and no group that says it has THE answer can be fully trusted.
     — NeoWayland
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Thursday roundup 20Jul2017

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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NeoNotes — scapegoating "whites"

And yet scapegoating is alive and well.



Pardon, but for all the talk about what Trump and his supporters did against "minorities," there was much more done against Trump's supporters.



I am not conservative. I am also not a liberal.

I am a writer.

I'm the guy who wrote “We need solutions that don't exile people politically.”

And “When it comes to religion becoming the law of the land, the devout don't need it, the non-believers don't want it, and the politicos will corrupt it.”

And I wrote this:

You are not entitled



I didn't say anyone here now shamed me, I said I wrote that.

I don't know what you did or did not do as an editor, I have only your say so for that. Until I have reason to disbelieve, I'll take your word for it. What I do know is that you were lecturing about the failures of "Whites" above. I am not defending anyone. No one group and certainly no "race" is without scoundrels, and no group is composed of saints.

As it happens, I believe in many American ideals and I think on the whole we get more right than we get wrong. I don't need to defend those ideas, they speak for themselves. I will say that not all ideas labeled "American" have much to do with liberty.

I started on this thread by writing about scapegoating. From what I see, this article does that.



"Control of the system" IS the problem. Fighting for "control of the system" is also the problem. The only known practical solution is to make government smaller than absolutely necessary.

Zinn's book is seriously flawed and way overhyped.



I'm not complaining about skin color. I'm complaining about being blamed for things that happened to people long dead long before I was born because of skin color. And I am complaining about the "sins" of one skin color used to explain All That Is Truly Wrong In The World.

I've said it before and I will stand by it. There's only one "race" and it's human.

I've got something I call the Practical Grudge Limit. It’s not practical to hold someone responsible unless they were there, of age, and participating. I'm responsible for what I've done and what I've said. No more, no less.



“…we have to create a system that is not about trying to control things and keep the controlling the hands of the wealthy and powerful.”

You can't have a system that is about not controlling and controlling. You want to make the distinction between the rich and the poor, but in the past it's been skin color, gender, religion, and ancestry.

Any system that sets up an inequality will always be exploited. And I am not talking about the inequality between rich and poor. You spoke of payback before. Any exploitive system will be about control and payback.

Unless it's inherited, one acquires wealth by exploiting people OR providing value to one's neighbors. There are other ways, but they are minute examples. If someone earned wealth by providing value to neighbors, that means they are doing something right. Especially if happens over time. You don't want to use a plumber who cheats you, or a grocer who sells spoiled food, or a bank that charges negative interest on your accounts.

That's when wealth can reflect character and commitment and honor.

If someone is in business, if they provide what was promised at a fair price, if they pay for their purchases as expected, if they treat people well, all of that makes a pretty decent measure of character.

That's what the Founders were interested in. Not a government of the rich for the rich, but a society of people with proven character.

Let's take a modern example. Before the law was changed, you could only finance a house by coming up with a down payment, usually ten percent of the price. This wasn't done to keep the poor unhoused. It was because you wanted people buying houses if they could afford it and were willing to work for it. The down payment also represented character and commitment.

When the law was changed for "compassionate" reasons, people could buy a house without "skin in the game." If someone couldn't pay their mortgage, the bank would take it back without any risk to the buyer. Since the mortgage payments were usually less than rent, there was no incentive to keep the house if that someone couldn't pay.

Meanwhile, banks and loan companies couldn't profit. People didn't put in down payments and walked away. Housing prices skyrocketed even as there was a glut of housing. So their solution (made with government encouragement) was to split the loans into what was paid and what was owed. Whoever got stuck with what was owed without any income lost big time. But banks got "too big to fail."

So a change in law to benefit the poor actually made things worse for nearly everyone. All because the rule of law was no longer uniform. It could be exploited. And it was.

It wasn't because of the divide between rich and poor. It was because politicos saw something they could tell voters was a Major Problem. It was because the changed law no longer rewarded character and hard work.



I have to point out that many of the people screaming about race relations are profiting either in terms of money or power. Not all and not most, but a significant number are making noise because they benefit from the problem and can't allow it to be solved.

I really don't want to start another long involved conversation about guns. I will say that libertarians call gun control victim disarmament and leave it at that.

Did you know that many housing projects were a direct result of Great Society programs? Those same programs encouraged the destruction of existing buildings (with low crime rates) so the projects could be built. Most of these projects were dilapidated and crime ridden within a decade or so. Some were rebuilt two or three times with the same results. I have to wonder how many of those problems were caused by the projects and the public housing policies that made them possible. Differences and problems may have been made worse by government action.

It wasn't skin color that gave the ghettos their reputation. It was crime. And the crimes may have had roots in government compassion.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.
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Threat

A choice made under the threat of force is no choice.
     — NeoWayland
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Moral responsibility

The simple answer is that moral responsibility is always a personal choice. You can't compel virtue or it ceases to be virtue.
     — NeoWayland

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NeoNotes — George Soros

George Soros is one of the most dangerous men alive.

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That's the excuse, not the reason

Here's the dirty little secret that you're avoiding. The evil is not in a belief system. That's the excuse, not the reason. No book has ever committed genocide. No song has ever burned someone alive. No long lost chant has ever raped.

It's people who speak and people who act. It's people who do good, and people who do evil.
     — NeoWayland
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I can't stress this enough

I can't stress this enough.

The state is not a moral entity. Government is not your friend, at best it is a bad servant.

Religion can not be allowed the coercive power of the state and the state can not be allowed the moral justification of faith.

You can't trust law to do the right thing. You have to watch it. You have to argue with it. And sometimes you have to fight it.
     — NeoWayland

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Monday roundup

House Advances Bill That Would Expand the DEA's Power to Make Legal Highs Illegal

Government can't keep up with regulating new products, so you have to loose freedom.


How Trump Can Avoid Impeachment: Order NSA to Declassify All Intel On Democratic Email Leaks

This is a Really REALLY good idea!


Why Middle America Doesn't Care About The Trump Jr. Narrative: Reuters Explains

Maybe the mainstream media should pay attention to what their audience wants


Tens of Thousands of Muslims Gather to Denounce Islamist Terror – Mainstream Media Ignores It

This is important. The Islamists will never be defeated until most Muslims decide to defeat the extremists. It can't be done from the outside.


VISA takes its War on Cash to US Retailers

“We’re focused on putting cash out of business.”


5 Cities That Won't Be Hosting the 2024 Olympics, and Why That Makes Them Winners

The Olympic Games lose money for the host city. I think the International Olympics Committee may have started the stadium scam, where the local government is on the hook for the bills and the sports team gets most of the revenue with no risk.


Congress is fleeing its warmaking responsibilities

“Congress is permanently in “Annie” mode. It will deal with its war responsibilities, like its myriad other forfeited powers, tomorrow, which is always a day away.” — George Will


Phoenix Taxpayers Lose $200 Million on Sale of Largest Hotel in Arizona

Government should NEVER finance private enterprise. Government is so bad at it that it never ends well for taxpayers.


Can property survive the great climate transition?

Here we get to the nub. Private property is the the foundation of prosperity, as explained in Hernando de Soto's The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else. Without private property, there can be no free market. Without a free market, the economy is screwed. The climate alarmist movement exists to redistribute wealth "for the greater good."


L.A. County sheriff can't give prosecutors the names of problem deputies, appeals court rules

So even if they lie, falsifiy reports, and stolen, the deputies are ABOVE THE LAW.


Is Russiagate Really Hillarygate?

The most important question of the 2016 election.

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Faith & religion

I believe that faith and religion can be a tremendous source of individual morality and a dangerous tyranny in society.
     — NeoWayland

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from crux № 11 — Ultimate truth

I've seen the arguments in enough other contexts to distrust anyone who claims rationality prevents any opposing view. Even more so when they dismiss any other possibility unheard because they have the Ultimate Truth That Must Not Be Questioned.
     — NeoWayland
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“Black, Millennial, Female and… Conservative” from Prager University

“Antonia Okafor, a young, single, black woman, recently discoveblurb that's she's a racist, sexist, misogynist. How in the world did this happen? None other than Antonia Okafor explains.”

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NeoNotes — government requires

There's a very real question why there should be any government grants, but I will leave that for another time.

Assume for a moment that you ran a bookstore. Should you be required by law to carry the Bible even though you were not Christian and did not believe Christianity was a valid faith? What if someone complained because you didn't have it?

Should a vegan restaurant be required to sell pulled pork BBQ?

Should a health food store be required to sell pipe tobacco?



Except we know that government does mandate that some products and services be sold or provided.

Let's take another example or two, shall we?

Imagine you are a lawyer or accountant. You know a specific businessman is crooked and can't be trusted. Should you be required to provided services?

Imagine you are an employer. Should you be required to verify the immigration status of each of your employees?

Most importantly, why should prior marginalization get a higher priority when it comes to the rule of law? Doesn't that lead to abuse of it's own when the formerly victimized class games the system?



Ah, so you are going to stick to "class of people." That's the problem. People aren't their labels. Or at least they shouldn't be.

Someone doesn't have higher moral authority because their group has been marginalized in the past.

And just in case you hadn't noticed, "American identity politics" is all about oppressing everyone else. All of which is predicated on the guilt of the former oppressor.



Black Lives Matter. All too ready to go after "white" cops, but doesn't want to address the problem of "black on black" crime. Nor does it want to address the major underlying problem, single parent families. Something that was encouraged by government, effectively relegating inner city families to poverty. Nor do they accept any criticism of their movement.

Much of third and fourth wave feminism. Apparently feminism is no longer about equality, it's about forcing men to sit down and shut up. And if a man complains, he's accused of rape.

The recent kerfuffle over the "redesigned" rainbow flag that put black and brown stripes at the top so that "people of color" had "representation." Literally "my victimhood is more important than your victimhood."

Identity politics is built on a carefully maintained hierarchy of victimhood. You're not allowed to speak unless you rank high enough with your victimhood or have demonstrated sufficient "compassion," usually by drawing attention to the "problem." But never actually solving anything.

And you are not allowed to question the victimhood.



Stop.

Step back. You are excusing their behavior.

Look at what has been done, not at the justifications.

Look at what is allowed within the groups.

Your enabling is just one example of what has locked people into their victimhood.



What you've given is excuses why people can't be held accountable.

Black Lives Matter is pushing a narrative that all police interactions with minorities but especially with "blacks" are racist. That's not true. And as I said, they overlook "black" on "black" crime that does not fit with the narrative.

It's victimhood I don't like, especially when perpetuated by bad government policy and "community outreach" that exploits the victims by keeping them victims.



And the courts were wrong.

Not because interracial marriages were wrong (they aren't). But because government can't be trusted to make individual moral decisions for you.

If you didn't choose your morality and if you do not commit to your morality, is it really yours?

Or did it just get sacrificed for the greater good?



Remember, most of the complaints against the current President are because he is doing the wrong moral things. Or at least, according to some people. Such as pulling out of the Paris accord.

Frankly there are people I want to discriminate against. There are evangelical Christians I want nothing to do with. There are radical feminists that I also don't want anything to do with. My list also includes some of the climate alarmists, the man-boy love crowd, anyone associated with a child beauty pageant, the extra-devout followers of Silver Ravenwolf, pretty much any organized political party, and a few dozen others.

Should government protect those people from my discrimination?



Actually we don't know that pulling out of the Paris accord is dangerous for the planet.

Here's what we do know. The "debate" about climate change has been heavily weighed on one side. A recent study has some of the most prominent climate alarmists admitting that the predictions didn't match the reality. President Obama committed the US, but the G20 and Obama didn't call it a treaty so it wouldn't have to go to the US Senate for approval. These aren't exactly moral actions.

Commerce is based on voluntary economic transactions between consenting adults. There's no “public service” about it. A company improves it's product or service (and lowers the price) because it wants to keep business from the competition. The "moral good" is based on pure greed. Nothing government demands from a business won't impose greater costs on the customer. Government relies on force. When government acts against people, it distorts the economy and morality.

It's not about public service, and commerce shouldn't answer to corrupt politicos.



The data was fudged. The people who fudged it knew it. The people who sought to make it a political issue beyond the control of any single government knew it.

If it's not about "saving the planet," then you have to ask what it is about. Especially when there is an everchanging deadline and No One Is Allowed To Question the failed predictions.

The entire movement is built on computer models, not science. I can't emphasize that enough. Models, not science. If the models have bad assumptions and/or if the data has been changed, the models aren't accurate.

But, "the science is settled." So you aren't allowed to dissent. You wouldn't accept that from a Creationist, why accept it from people who benefit financially and politically from forcing their agenda?



That wasn't what I said.

The models haven't been accurate in more than a dozen years. Even before that, the models had to be "goosed" to show a link between the past and the present.

I've said before that I can create a spreadsheet that makes me a millionaire in a week. That doesn't mean that the spreadsheet is accurate. And it sure doesn't mean I should wave cash around.

If the model isn't accurate, if we know it's not accurate, and if the people pushing the model hardest know that it's not accurate, don't you think it's time to ask why we should use the model?



No, that is what you have been told that the model is.

I strongly urge you to take a closer look. And I would remind you that there is no science in history that has ever been considered holy writ and beyond criticism.

For example, if I wanted to know the average global temperature right now this very minute, I'd have to accept that most land based measuring stations are in developed areas, many in highly urban areas that influence the readings. Satillite measurements are better, but don't go back further than about sixty years. And most of the ocean is a mystery below a mile deep.

So what exactly is the global average temperature?



I'm not shy about it. I don't approve of their life choices. I especially don't approve when *insert group name here* demands that it is not enough for to acknowledge their words and actions, it must be celebrated as the only accepted truth.

I don't want them on the ballot. I don't want to do business with them. I don't want them in my town.

And I think they are corrupting society.

Again, should government protect them from my discrimination?



I may not be a pure libertarian when it comes to the Zero Aggression Principle, but I don't usually initiate force. It's sloppy and takes too much energy.

“How many NAMBLA neighbors do you have, anyway?”

One.

Once.



I've been a corporate VP and I've run my own business.

Can you point to the spot in the Constitution where it defines the powers of the Federal government to control who I can and can't do business with? How about the spot where it defines that I must do business with everyone who wants to do business with me? Because under the Tenth Amendment, there isn't one.

If government isn't defending my ability to choose as long as I accept the consequences, then government has failed.

Even if my neighbors don't approve of my choice.

Especially if my neighbors don't approve of my choice.

If I am not free to discriminate as I choose, then government is discriminating against me. And that is what we see now. Some choices are more equal than others.



Not really.

That clause is the most abused in the Constitution, largely because it does not place significant restrictions on the Federal government. By some interpretations, the government can do what it wants when it wants and despite what people want. When you consider that everything from FDA approval to requiring transgender bathrooms is shoved through that loophole, it's a wonder that there is anything left of the rest of the Constitution.

Even in your flawed interpretation, public accommodation only applies in certain cases. Some are more victimized than others, remember?



Volumes have also been written against it. For generations in fact, right back to to the Anti-Federalist Papers

And then there is always the practical common sense approach. Here's the clause straight from Article 1 Section 8.

“To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;”

I can tell you know many Diné, Hopi, Havasupai, and White Mountain Apache who think that "Great White Father speaks with forked tongue." Just look at what the Interior Department did when it came to mineral rights.

You've tried to tell me what the consensus says, but you haven't disputed my conclusions. The commerce clause has been used to expand Federal power far beyond the scope of the rest of the Constitution. The only other comparable Federal power grab in American history has been the USA PATRIOT Act and the open-ended declaration of hostilities that happened after 9-11.



Or we could just stop handing out government grants and do something radically different like lower taxes, reduce government spending, and let people decide what to do with their own money.



Church playgrounds aren't national religious issues unless government is funding them.

The First Amendment is very clear: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

Neither help nor hinder. It's the only way to win this particular battle. Otherwise you have things like a Faith Based Initiative (for certain faiths approved by law) and school prayer.



I think we do. And it's right there in the First Amendment.

Don't.

If there is one thing worse than a politico wrapping themselves in the flag, it's a politico standing on religion wrapping themselves in a flag.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.
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❝What are your questions?❞

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Language of force

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Tragedy from incentives

“The Tragedy of the Commons in the American Prison System”