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Speech wars

Ladies and gentlemen, something huge happened this last week.

While I was busy stomping out grass fires, the speech wars turned ugly with a vengeance. It's a battle for control of who gets to speak, what they get to say, and where and when they get to say it. It's a battle that threatens American freedom.

It's a battle for the heart and soul and future of the internet.

The internet is the last, best hope for freedom. It may be the last, best hope for humanity. But it can only fulfill that promise if people can say what they want, when they want, to who they want. There's no other way it can work. 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.

That doesn't mean you have to agree. Or be polite. Or even acknowledge it.

We need people arguing and waving fingers under each others noses. Competition keeps us honest. No one group and certainly no one person has all the answers.

Anyone who tells you differently is lying.

Americans are free to believe anything they choose. Americans are free to tell anyone what they want however they can.

Of course if they use force so others pay attention, they deserve the consequences.

Yes, Americans are free to speak and write as they choose. For now.

That's no guarantee that Americans can find someone to pay attention. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom to be heard. Freedom of the press does not mean freedom to be read. People can choose to notice you, or not. It's up to them. That's their freedom. Just because you have something to say doesn't mean it's something they want to hear. But you have the right to speak.

Except that's not good enough for some.

They think that if you say something that they disagree with, you must not be allowed to say it.

They think that if you might say something they disagree with, you must not be allowed to say it.

“Thou shalt not dissent.”

These people will use legal means if they can. Failing that, they will try removing your Moral Authority™ to speak by proving you are a despicable, deplorable, and dangerous person Who Just Might Tempt Others Into Degeneracy. Failing that, they will try to link you to the questionable behavior of others to prove you are unfit to speak. Failing that (or if they do not have time), they use violence against you.

You might think that hate speech is not free speech. You might think that you shouldn't have to listen to it. You might think that we need to “protect the children.” That's certainly your right.

But who decides what is hate speech?

From my experiences the last week or so, I know that many people believe hate speech is anything they don't agree with. Those folks were about a half step from condemning Republicans and libertarians along with the neo-Nazis and white nationalists, even though we hadn't done anything wrong. Even though we had no association with the neo-Nazis and white nationalists. Apparently we did not condemn the neo-Nazis and white nationalists fast enough. And apparently we didn't link violence exclusively with the neo-Nazis and white nationalists AND ONLY WITH the neo-Nazis and white nationalists.

Some of us even said that the neo-Nazis and white nationalists had the same free speech rights as everyone else. As long as they didn't use violence.

Some believe these sins violate Moral Authority™ enough to justify removing freedom of speech. Anyone sinful enough must be shunned until they atone for their sins. So domain registrars and web-hosting companies started removing hate-speech sites. Google announced a new initiative to screen against hate stories.

Somehow no conservative group was asked to participate. Libertarians are never asked to participate, we usually do anyway. But if the gatekeepers decide what is hate and what is not while excluding what is not morally approved, how long do you think anyone will be allowed to dissent?

Aside from the moral pretentious and the virtue signaling, let's look at the implications. People who believe that hate speech is not free speech also believe that certain people cannot be trusted to choose between bad and good. They believe that certain people can't learn from their mistakes and do better the next time.

So not only are they treating adults as children, but they are robbing tomorrow. Will you accept that?

Donald Trump and other politicos already want to restrict speech critical of their actions. It's only one step more to decide that no one can be critical of an elected official because after all they are Official and are only doing things For The Common Good.

And it's only one step more to declare since there is no criticism, there's no need for elections.

I'm going to cover the Speech Wars more and more. I have to. I want my tomorrows. You can fight for everyone's rights today. Or you can lose yours tomorrow. Your choice.

Your freedom.
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“Brother Offers Support To Sister In Car Wash”

tip of the hat to GoodNewsNetwork
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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”

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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

“In this anti-fascist film produced by US Military in the wake of WWII, the producers deconstruct the politically motivated social engineering of Germany by the Nazi regime.”

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“Charlottesville & The Alt-Right: Just Say NO to Identity Politics”

“The #UniteTheRIght protest/rally in Charlottesville was a disappointing display of white nationalism, supremacy, and believe it or not, maybe even actual Nazis. The alt-right is having a heck of a PR nightmare right now.”

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“John Stossel vs. Noam Chomsky on Venezuela”

“Stossel has an exchange with famed M.I.T. linguist Noam Chomsky, who once praised former President Hugo Chávez socialist policies.”

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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.

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from crux № 8 - rights & revised history

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.

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“What is a Libertarian?”

“Nailing down the basics on the political ideology known as Libertarianism.”

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Friday 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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NeoNotes — the Johnson amendment

As I said, the tax exempt status is a "devil's trade" intended in large part to silence churches.

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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”

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from crux № 13 - Competiton

Competition drives the free market…

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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”

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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

Perhaps we'd be better off focusing on who shows morality and character now rather than proclaiming worth based on ancestry.
     — NeoWayland
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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

But you can't ban it because you dislike it. You can't outlaw it because if offends you. You can't lock it away and hope no one finds the key.

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“Thomas Sowell - Misconceptions About Slavery”

“Excerpt from Thomas Sowell's "Intellectuals and Race"”

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“Penn Jillette on Libertarianism, Taxes, Trump, Clinton and Weed”

“Take a deep breath, you're in for a ride. Here is Penn Jillette on Libertarianism, taxes, Trump, Clinton, Sanders, Gary Johnson, sex, drugs and Kurt Cobain.”

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NeoNotes — enabling racism

Without exception, the worst racism I've seen has been enabled by government.

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NeoNotes — public accommodation law is wrong - updated

You can't grant equal rights to all citizens and have "protected groups." Beware the exceptions.

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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

Speaking personally, there are people I do not want to be associated with, much less do business with. You can't have freedom of expression and freedom of assembly without having freedom of association. And you can't have freedom of association without having freedom of non-association.

And yes, I know about the Supreme Court ruling. It was wrong, as USSC rulings sometimes are.
     — NeoWayland
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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

That is when marriage ceased to be religion and control shifted to the state.

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NeoNotes — Religion enshrined in law

Why should any religion be enshrined in law? Raised above all others as THE Moral Standard?

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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

You can't get more racist than that.

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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.

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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

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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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 discovered 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

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?
     — NeoWayland

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❝What are your questions?❞

“Liberals Can't Deal With A President Who Takes America's Side”

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Language of force

“Tear Gas, Guns and Riot Squads: The Police State’s Answer to Free Speech Is Brute Force”

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Tragedy from incentives

“The Tragedy of the Commons in the American Prison System”

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☆ The special asterisk is a multiplier

Keep law simple and absolute.

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from crux № 16 — My beliefs

I believe that people are perfectly capable of making their own choices and that society is the better if people do exactly that.

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NeoNotes — Costs of the drug war

We could do more for addiction and to stop violence and corruption by stopping the war on drugs.

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☆ Our permission society

Everything not forbidden is compulsory.
     — T. H. White, The Once and Future King

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from crux № 3 - Shame & sex

Are they not freely consenting adults?

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NeoNotes — Health care funding

Which raises the question why should care be publicly funded?

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Victim hierarchy

Behold the victim hierarchy, “my victimhood is more important than yours.”
     — NeoWayland

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“Unsustainable Whiteness”

“Sierra Club: The Big Problem With Environmentalism Is ‘Unsustainable Whiteness’”

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Not for thee

“Nothing To Be Proud Of”

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from crux № 6 - Homosexuality does NOT equal pedophilia

To me, it's immoral and perverse that you've taken it on yourself to pass judgement when there is nothing to show that these people did the things you say that you oppose.

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Return the favor

I’m willing to live and let live. Why won’t they return the favor?
     — NeoWayland

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All it will cost

“For you own good,” and all it will cost is your liberty.
     — NeoWayland

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NeoNotes — Who gets to call the shots

For length reasons, this entry appears on it's own page.

“Freedom is what matters.”

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☆ Media utopia

So if you wanted to stay ahead of the curve, you'd read those three papers every day you could.

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John and Cindy McCain's shaky foundation

“Soros, Clinton-Linked Teneo Among Donors to McCain Institute”


“Cindy McCain: Crony Philanthropist”

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Absolutely

As a rule, absolutes don't.
     — NeoWayland
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Acknowledge

Acknowledge but do not celebrate.
     — NeoWayland

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Right choices

Government can’t make the “right” choices for a free people.
     — NeoWayland

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Enlightenment

Why does your enlightenment demand that I sacrifice?
     — NeoWayland

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“How to save the USA in six words”

Stop making everything a moral issue.
     — Don Surber, How to save the USA in six words

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Absolute morality

Absolute morality serves those in power and those in fear.
     — NeoWayland

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Sympathy

Sympathy is not part of my nature. Fellow-feeling is a gift that I have to work at, so I do. I consider it as restitution for the person I once was.
     — NeoWayland
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from crux № 9 - Testing ideas

We need our beliefs and convictions tested by people who don't agree with us.

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NeoNotes — Deserved to be heroes

For length reasons, this entry appears on it's own page.

“We let generations be victims when they deserved to be heroes.”

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Roaming Millennial on Oppression

“People of Color: You Are Not Oppressed”

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from crux № 15 - make it better

“I want a government that is smaller than absolutely necessary.

I believe that people are perfectly capable of making their own choices and that society is the better if people do exactly that.”

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NeoNotes — Subjective morality

For length reasons, this entry appears on it's own page.

“The law should be limited to punishing direct, measurable harm.”

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from crux № 1 - hate crimes

I've never agreed with the “hate crime" nonsense.

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Greatest crimes of our times

Most people are still unwilling to face the most alarming lesson of modern history: that the greatest crimes of our time have been committed by governments that had the enthusiastic support of millions of people who were guided by moral impulses.
     — F.A. Hayek, The Mirage of Social Justice

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from crux № 10 - the system

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.

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Silence

“The Bad Manners of the Campus Left”

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Newspeak devours free speech

“What ‘Snowflakes’ Get Right About Free Speech”

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What a liberal university used to mean

“In defense of the offensive“ & “A microcosm of the maddening mix of Progressive hate, ignorance, and nonsense at an American college”

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“American Indians Are Still Getting a Raw Deal”

“American Indians are the poorest of all of America's ethnic groups. Why?”

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“Your Brain On Drug Policy” featuring Rachael Leigh Cook

“Rachael Leigh Cook explains that the war on drugs is a war on people in a remake of her iconic spot”

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Somebody KNEW

“Feds knew of 700 Wells Fargo whistleblower cases in 2010”

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Roaming Millennial on Berkeley Lies!

“DaddyOFive Faking It? + Berkeley Lies!”

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Trump

Trump launched a missile attack on a nation which had not attacked the United States, and he did it without Congressional authorization.This is NOT a good thing.
     — NeoWayland

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“On Women's Right to Vote” by Susan B. Anthony

After she was arrested, Susan B. Anthony showed just what a woman could do.

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See truth with your own eyes

r/libertarian vs r/socialism

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Yeah, he kinda does

It gets lost in the noise.

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Theft by any other name

IRS Seized $17 Million From Innocent Business Owners Using Asset Forfeiture”

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Susan Rice unmasked

“CNN Goes On Rampage Against Susan Rice Bombshell, Instructs Viewers To Ignore Story”

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NeoNotes — Prostitution

Do you really want politicos deciding what is moral harm?

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Minority rights

I don't think there are minority rights. I believe we have human rights and that it's not a right unless the other guy has it too. Which other guy? All other humans. At least all other humans in our culture and our society.

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NeoNotes — Fertility religion

I can't think of a better place to do that than pressed up against each other in the afterglow.

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Real & impossible rights

American women enjoy rights that are impossible for other women in much of the World.

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Black & Blue & hate crimes

Louisiana and Kentucky have both passed laws that add police and emergency responders to the hate crime laws.

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Repeal Obamacare with just one sentence

Rep. Mo Brooks files bill to repeal Obamacare

Effective as of Dec. 31, 2017, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such Act had not been enacted.
     — U.S. Congressman Mo Brooks

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NeoNotes — Which god?

I will give you the same argument that led me to question the “faith of my fathers" and started my own search.

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Roaming Millenial on Trump's Ties to Russia

What We Know So Far

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Emma Watson on feminism - “I really don't know what my tits have to do with it.”

“Feminism is about giving women choice. Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with. It’s about freedom. It’s about liberation. It’s about equality. I really don’t know what my tits have to do with it. It’s confusing.”

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NeoNotes — Make Your Choice

Are people better if they are more free or more controlled?

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“The Drunken, Pagan History of Christmas” by Adam Ruins Everything

It's not what you think it is

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“Should We Trust the Media?” from Roaming Millennial

Biased Journalism & Creative Reporting

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NeoNotes — Off Limits

Behind locked doors and privacy fences, I am "free to do what I want." But is that freedom?

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How Prostitutes Settled the Wild West - Adam Ruins Everything

Surprising history

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“Minimum Wage Laws Are Racist”

“There's No Other Way to Say It: Minimum Wage Laws Are Racist"

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Uncle Sam says Stop Being Afraid

“You're Americans First"

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NeoNotes — American Christmas

Christians are nicer people when they aren't the only game in town

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Roaming Millenial on the Alt-Right

“What is the Alt-Right?"

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Abnormal

“Dear Media: Please Stop Normalizing the Alt-Right”

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Fake isn't always fake

“A libertarian tech revolt”

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Mixing science and politics

“The Real War on Science”

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Roaming Millennial on allegations

“Should we listen and believe?”

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Cult of Clinton

“America Called Bullshit on the Cult of Clinton”

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Right to boycott

“Fashion Designers Are Boycotting Melania Trump. Shouldn't Bakers and Florists Have the Same Right?”

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“The Nature of Liberty” by H.L. Mencken

H.L. Mencken is always worth your time.

This version is from Prejudices: Third Series (1922)

For length reasons, this entry has it's own page.

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Roaming Millennial on the Election Aftermath

“Anti-Trump hysteria”

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NeoNotes — Pre-victimhood

“The man has not even been sworn in yet.”

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Bussed in protestors

“Guess Who’s Bussing in All of Those Anti- Trump Protesters Who Are Burning Flags & Rioting in the Streets?”

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NeoNotes — Laci Green

Because I lost a wager, I spent some time looking at Laci Green videos a while back. The stuff on sex is pretty good, the stuff on relationships is so-so, and the SJW stuff is just destructive. Although in her defense, I don't think she has thought through the implications.

Anyway, the chances of someone under 25 knowing very much about relationships are pretty slim. Particularly when their solution is for at least half of humanity to submit to their wisdom and change their ways.

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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Little victories

But by all the gods it’s great to see a modern liberal take on political correctness.

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“The War Prayer” by Mark Twain

This 1905 Mark Twain piece has lessons for today.

It was not published until after his death.

For length reasons, this entry has it's own page.

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NeoNotes — Religious discrimination

I've every reason to fight religious discrimination.

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Undocumented means illegal

We can argue whether the law is morally right or not.

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See if they do

Hollywood celebrities always freak out when a conservative is elected.

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Roaming Millennial on Social Justice and Universities

“Social Justice & Universities”

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Nativists threatened by success

“Alt-Right Nativists Launch Witch Hunt Against Chobani Yogurt Founder For Helping Refugees”

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Theodore Roosevelt on immigration

In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American ... There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag ... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language ... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.
     — Theodore Roosevelt, 1907

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“I’ve done nothing wrong.”

“We operated the business legally and in compliance with all California and local laws.”

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“Not Yours to Give” by James J. Bethune

This classic 1867 piece has lessons for today.

For length reasons, this entry has it's own page.

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Government & religion

Religion cannot be allowed the coercive power of government. Government cannot be allowed the moral justification of religion.
     — NeoWayland, United We Stand

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Is this real?

If it’s true, it could destroy the government.

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Sometimes the police are not your friends

“Who Protects Kids from Predatory Police and Prosecutors?”

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Taking away choice

In a free market, if you don’t like what a business is selling, you don’t buy it.

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Russia gets attention

“The Russian Bogeyman”

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What a mess

Institution politics surrounding Clinton’s email mess

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Gay Thought Police

“…Like Soviet-Era Bullies”

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Berkeley cry bully bridge protest

This is bullying. More accurately, it is cry bullying.

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Borrowed strength

Trump’s strength is not because of Trump

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Wrong

All other things being equal, the side that can't stand dissent is usually wrong.
     — NeoWayland

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NeoNotes — Shame game

I played this game many times until I tired of it

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NeoNotes — Sexuality & society

I suspect that sexual orientation is not as hard wired as some believe, but that is still individual choice.

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NeoNotes — Drug War

Most of the problems caused by illegal drugs come from the drugs being illegal in the first place.

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NeoNotes — Sin

Pardon, but who defines the sin?

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NeoNotes — Control

I believe in people and not government.

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NeoNotes — Homosexuality wasn't illegal

Despite your personal beliefs, homosexuality is not the issue.

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The Collapse of The American Dream Explained in Animation

I don't agree with everything here, but you should definately watch.

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“You Are Not Alone” by Bill Whittle

This essay isn't mine and I do not have permission to quote it, much less post it.

But you should read the whole thing.

For length reasons, this entry has it's own page.

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The Legacy of Obama comes to Arizona

Just a picture taken in Phoenix.

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Scam - not the IRS

Any robo-caller demanding money is almost certainly a scam

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Kafkatrap

I was adding commentary to some of my lexicon entries

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NeoNotes — Emotional connections

Sex without the emotional connection is masturbation

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About that Brexit thing

Looks like they made the right choice. And Cameron resigned.

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Rainbow arms

Maybe it's not about making Americans safer.

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Brexit

Because I think it’s vital that you are able to vote out a government.
     — Natalie Solent, Quick arguments for voting Leave

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NeoNotes — Vice

Vice laws tell people that we don't think they can be adults

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Ali was cool

I didn't realize until I was much older just how cool Ali was

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NeoNotes — Reciprocity

We can build a moral system based on the Ethic of Reciprocity

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NeoNotes — Undermine your own

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.

Live and let live. Why is that so hard for you to accept?

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 most important person you've never heard of

He's one of those people you should have read about in school

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Religion becoming the law of the land

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.
     — NeoWayland

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One paragraph

Between jabs at Donald Trump during her speech at AIPAC on Monday, Hillary Clinton wondered “what’s taking us so long here in America” to elect a female president.
     — Steve Guest, Hillary At AIPAC: ‘What’s Taking Us So Long’ To Elect A Female President?

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Climate Pre-Crime

It's not illegal to deny climate change

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NeoNotes — Political fringe and crazy ideas

The political fringe and their crazy, insane ideas

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NeoNotes — Immigration

That alone isn't enough

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NeoNotes — Smear

Why should they feel shame?

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NeoNotes — Taking over the world

The only point in taking over the world is to make sure people make their own choices

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NeoNotes — Divine intervention

Your issue with me isn't about what I say. It's that I don't recognize Christianity as the "obviously superior" choice. It's that I won't give Christianity the hand up you think it deserves. It's that I don't think Christianity is the "universal" choice.

Am I attacking you? No. Am I attacking Christianity? No. Am I suppressing Christianity? No.

If Christianity is what you believe, then it should be able to hold it's own AND MORE against any other set of ideas with no special advantage.

Which means there’s no need to explain human behavior because of Divine intervention or devilish activity.

It’s choice.

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 — American Legacy

We are a nation of individuals, of individual liberty and responsibilities, of individual choice and individual passion. We're the first nation like that in recorded history, it is our legacy.

Our faiths, like Christianity, are a part of that.

Please think about this. You may believe that your God makes the sun rise, but your faith doesn't control my actions. Likewise, my faith doesn't control you.

We have to find common ground outside religion. Otherwise it's a matter of whose religion is "in charge," and that way will destroy liberty.

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 — Not the pagan community

I'm not speaking for the pagan community. Much of the justification for "establishing" a Greater Pagan Community® is so that certain individuals can get the adoration and deference they believe they deserve.

I believe in ecology but I'm against environmentalism.

I believe individual freedom and personal responsibility works ever so much better than collectivism.

I think that what Christians call the Golden Rule is one of the most important roots of civilization. But I prefer another version, "Be excellent to each other. And party on, dudes!"

Now is that enough of a test, or do I have to give the Super Secret Handshake™ too?

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 — On Rape Culture

I'm not familiar with the work, but we've seen these discussions far too often. Take the allegation that the United States is a "rape culture." Or the notion that anyone who says "all lives matter" instead of "black lives matter" is a racist.

In this specific case, look at the mindsets involved. One wants validation and their demands enshrined in law and regulation. The other wants a better world for them and theirs. Yet both are treated as if the RadFem ideology is dominant.

There are women who consider themselves feminists that think wife and mother is a valid choice and don't want anything to do with the RadFems. But these are not the ladies doing it for attention. They won't be published. They won't be picketing. They won't be giving soundbites for the news or YouTube. That's not how they believe lasting change happens.

Words matter. Actions matter more. Intentions don'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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NeoNotes — On Christian theocracy

Anytime someone starts talking about a Christian theocracy, I ask "Which one?"

Besides the obvious differences between Catholics and Protestants, there are differences between the sects. There's no way a Baptist is going to take religious marching orders from a Mormon. The Methodists won't accept directions from the Christian Scientists.

This predates the country. Back in the colonial days, no one wanted a church in one colony dictating religious practices in another. This is partially why there was no national church defined in the Constitution and why the only mention of any god in that document was the date.

The best way to make sure that you're allowed to practice your religion in peace is to make sure EVERYONE has that same right.

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 — Sex Speculation

There I admit we get into some speculation. We can't isolate the culture from the genetics. Not to mention that Really Big Assumption that you are either straight OR gay forever and ever, amen.

We can't say how much a person's sexual orientation depends on their conditioning, religious beliefs, cultural standards, rebellion, stress, pain, or pleasure. These factors can't be eliminated.

Basically all we have to work with is observations and we don't know how much is because of the biology and how much is because of the mind. That means in turn that any discussion of sex is going to bog down really quickly in ideas that can't be quantified.

Thank the gods the same can't be said for the act!

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 — Trends

Perhaps we could just say stuff happens and individuals need to be held responsible.

The trends argument is the same justification that the RadFems use against males in general. You can pick and choose bad examples and ignore the good examples. That way, you never need to talk about individuals, it's about trends and statistics and who is the greater "danger to the community."

Why is it better when conservatives use that justification against whatever Label X is this week?

Until and unless you can show that all of Label X engages in Action Y AND no one who is Not Label X engages in Action Y, the argument falls down. Which means maybe, just maybe we should look at something other than the label.

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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Twitterfied - updated

But here’s the thing. They make no secret of their opinion. If they think I am wrong, they tell me and they tell me why.

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Cruz goes evangelical

Why does Cruz assume that the only worthy values are Christian ones?

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Not all feminists…

Certainly not all women are like that. What we have is a very small group that wants political power and public validation in the worst way. Yes, it’s another case of Those Who Want To Be Noticed.



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Women in combat

Speaking only for myself, I want the U.S. armed forces to be the toughest, most capable sons of a gun on the face of the planet. Especially the elite units. I want them to make other national leaders nervous, even if they are half way across the globe. I want whispers in the darkest shadows of just what happens when someone dares threaten freedom if an American serviceman can do something about it.

Any female who can fill the physical and mental requirements without any allowances for their sex has my respect. All the more so if they show the warrior virtues. But by all the warrior gods they'd better damn well hold their own and more
     — NeoWayland

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Color

Anyway, it’s looking more and more like the Acadamy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will set aside a certain number of nominations for skin color.

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Tain't Mine

This is from an email exchange I had recently.

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Remembering the San Bernardino Victims

I hope their families find peace.

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Let them be forgotten

Let them be remembered as cowards who only dared attack unarmed victims.

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Who is racist now?

I did not humble myself and acknowledge the sins of my skin color.

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Victimhood drek

She didn’t do it by being a victim.

She did it by trying again and again until it worked.

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She can speak for herself

We need to test our ideas again and again.

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Obama the racist

The Imperious Leader and the Federal government has already decided that no matter what, certain “races” can’t succeed without help from The Man.

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Zero. Zilch. Nada.

I am absolutely certain that abortion should not be funded by taxpayers. Nor should organizations or companies providing abortions. Nor should companies that provide birth control.

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Outstanding

In some ancient polytheistic societies, the worst punishment that could be meted out was to erase a person’s existence by no longer speaking or writing their name and erasing any reference to them. It was thought this also negatively affected them in the afterlife. As a matter of personal policy, follow this concept and this is why I have not named the shooter in this article. However, The Honored Dead do deserve to be known…
     — Cara Schulz, Facing Violence in Chattanooga: Two Heathens Share their Experience
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I'm not the smartest guy in the room

Since I just spent forty-five minutes writing it as a post, you’re damn right I’m going to put it here.

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Simple question

Legal does not mean free.

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Better?

Stars above and Earth below, it’s the Faith Triumphant all over again!

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I want it understood

I’m standing against government licensing marriage.

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George Takei brooks no dissent - updated

They attack the person and avoid discussing the ideas.

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Battle flag - updated

The question remains, why was the flag acceptable last year but is not acceptable this year?

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That Judeo-Christian thing

I do criticize the Christians who constantly take refuge in that tired phrase “Judeo-Christian heritage.”

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The weak, the poor, the minority…

We’re so conditioned to expect the government to “save us” that we overlook government oppressing us.

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Giving away the choice

We ceded our right to choose our morality to government functionaries.

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“We need to put the American flag down”

Identity politics and power through guilt will ALWAYS demand more no matter what is given…

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Nutcase

About the South Carolina church shooting. We know enough now.

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Flagging some questions

The “Confederate” flag (actually the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia) was raised over the capital of South Carolina by a Democrat governor in protest over the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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The narrative is not the tragedy

I’ve been asked why I haven’t commented on the South Carolina church massacre.

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Token - updated

With one move, the Imperious Leader’s administration tokenizes half the human race.

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One thing that can keep you free

Just because something is legal doesn’t mean that it is just.

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Decreed

The Imperious Leader literally decreed that non-profits must contribute to green technologies.

What happens when they don’t?

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Leave them alone

Give government all the power you think is necessary. Watch as the one person who you think can’t be trusted with that power commands it against everything you hold dear.

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Racism Today

…it’s about how you advance the cause.

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No dissent, or The content of his character

Rhyd Wildermuth has shown me his character.

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Stop the denial

Marriage licenses exist so that the licenses can be denied.

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Accept but not celebrate

I won’t celebrate.

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Not anymore

You can't childproof the world. The best you can do is world proof your children.
     — anonymous

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Ordinary people doing ordinary good

No one talks about what really holds our culture together.

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All Or Nothing

It’s a scam.

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NeoNotes — I wish more people were.

I'm for live and let live.

I wish more people were.

You should live your life as you choose. Just don't expect me to celebrate it because it is your life after all. And don't go after your neighbor because of the lawn he planted or the socks he wears or where he spends his Tuesday nights.

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 Return of Jim Crow

In the sixty years since the Civil Rights movement, the Left has entirely perverted the whole notion of civil rights. Civil Rights as the Founders intended meant the right of all citizens, regardless of race, color, religion, sexual, gender, etc., to be free of government constraints (although the government’s police powers certainly required the government to protect citizens when others amongst them worked to injure them or constrain their basic freedoms). Civil Rights as the Left demands it has become an all powerful government that is responsible for redistribution wealth, property, access to government and even happiness, from whites to blacks.
     — Bookworm, American Christians are the new blacks; and Leftists own the new Jim Crow movement

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Victim privilege - updated

❝❝Yes, f*** your trauma. My sympathy for your suffering, whether that suffering was real or imaginary, ended when you demanded I change my life to avoid bringing up your bad memories. You don’t seem to have figured this out, but there is no “I must never be reminded of a negative experience” expectation in any culture anywhere on earth.
     — Chris Hernandez, ‘Microaggressions’ And ‘Trigger Warnings,’ Meet Real Trauma

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Watching the headlines #2

“CNN ATTACKS Duke basketball coach for NOT speaking out against new Indiana Religious Freedom law

Everybody's Lost Their Goddamn Mind Over Religious Freedom

The overblown hypocrisy of Tim Cook's business boycott of Indiana

“Sounds like Apple’s CEO needs to disable the ‘hypocrite’ app on his iPhone”

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Discriminate now

These are matters of individual choice and they should remain so.

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By the content of their character

Obama lies. But that’s not the real problem.

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Dirty Water

Government at both ends squeezes you in the middle

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Military honor

Our military is mostly honorable people who want to do the right thing.

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You are not entitled

I may not have heard it all, but I have heard enough.

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Drones

If the drone flies over your property, can you shoot it down?

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Isn't this racist?

Why don’t liberals get the blame for their words and actions?

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Reply to a Bookworm Rant

Bookworm is looking for scapegoats

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Honor in giving truth

I think that most people make mostly good choices.

Mostly.

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Whoops

I told people that Christianity didn’t mean much unless you were a Christian. It might even drive people away from a good cause.

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Boom!

Now they are worried.

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Human Lives Matter

So no matter what I’ve said before now, no matter what I’ve done before now, if I fail to do this now, I’m racist.

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Choose your right

I believe that economics and morality should be based in free choice.

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You can't be good enough - Updated

Morality is not exclusively Christian. Read More...
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from crux № 4 - The U.S. is not a "Christian nation"

And here is where I am about to offend many of you. Are you paying close attention?

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Expanding civilizations, religions, and faith

It's not how it appears



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Almost the last advocate

It's not a right unless everyone else has it too. Otherwise it's a privilege taken at someone else's expense. Read More...
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Forbidden

The law and you Read More...
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I'll tell you what I believe

Just a few things here and there Read More...
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United We Stand - Dragging religion into politics

The presidential candidates are missing the point by pandering to evangelicals



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The real reason behind Prohibition

Nothing to do with morality and everything to do with vote pandering

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Faith and the public sphere

Does religion really define public morality? Should government control religion?

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“Gutter punks” in San Francisco

Is it really all that different than the 1960s? Read More...
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Roots of government power

Which laws are necessary and which ones are wasteful? Here is what you can count on a libertarian to say. Read More...
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“Protecting” the children

How pictures of a family camping trip turned into a family's personal hell Read More...
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That time of year again

Certain fundamentalists trot out the scare tactics again Read More...
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