Meanwhile, Yale's Divinity School is now home to Black Lives Matter movement agitator DeRay Mckesson who was awarded a sinecure to promote the violent racist movement.
“Looting for me isn’t violent, it’s an expression of anger,” the guest lecturer recently preached to students. “The act of looting is political. Another way to dissolve consent. Pressing you to no longer keep me out of this space, by destroying it.”
what a world! here's a teacher at major US university inciting criminal violence. and denying violence is violent on the basis that it also has the purpose of expressing anger.
he advocates destruction, which he claims will help get invites into the kinds of spaces that are attacked.
and he's not getting fired for this stuff. he got hired for it!
this is very dangerous. people are getting hurt. more will be hurt. and not very many are doing a good job of standing up against it.
I already knew Trump was a protectionist from reading his book:
Fourth, it’s time to get tough on those who outsource jobs overseas and reward companies who stay loyal to America. If an American company outsources its work, they get hit with a 20 percent tax. For those companies who made the mistake of sending their businesses overseas but have seen the light and are ready to come home and bring jobs with them, they pay zero tax. Bottom line: hire American workers and you win. Send jobs overseas, and you may be fine, but you will pay a tax. Also, I want foreign countries to finally start forking over cash in order to have access to our markets. So here’s the deal: any foreign country shipping goods into the United States pays a 20 percent tax. If they want a piece of the American market, they’re going to pay for it. No more free admission into the biggest show in town—and that especially includes China. [emphasis added]
Trump has now both denied and reiterated his protectionism in today's policy paper:
America has always been a trading nation. Under the Trump administration trade will flourish. However, for free trade to bring prosperity to America, it must also be fair trade. Our goal is not protectionism but accountability. America fully opened its markets to China but China has not reciprocated. Its Great Wall of Protectionism uses unlawful tariff and non-tariff barriers to keep American companies out of China and to tilt the playing field in their favor. [emphasis added]
And what will Trump do because China hasn't reciprocated American free trade policies with their own? His clearly written policy is to impose protectionist duties:
On day one of the Trump administration the U.S. Treasury Department will designate China as a currency manipulator. This will begin a process that imposes appropriate countervailing duties on artificially cheap Chinese products
This is a bad idea, as was explained in 1845 by Claude Frédéric Bastiat. I find it interesting that would-be economic leaders, seeking to "make America great again", do not bother to read economics and find out why their plans will actually harm America, as a Frenchman already explained 170 years ago. This is old news – but Trump doesn't know it. Why not? Something's really going wrong here.
Bastiat's explanation is well done. It's clear, easy to read, makes sense, and covers the issue. What more do people want? He actually has a lot of material of this quality which the modern world is ignoring. Here is the specific essay, in full, which Trump's ignorant and destructive policy plans reminded me of. Look how exactly Trump is advocating the same mistake Bastiat addresses. (And Trump has no counter argument to Bastiat, no better ideas to offer. Just ignorance.)
Note that Bastiat has already explained why protective tariffs or duties are bad in previous essays. And Trump claims to know those are bad in general, which is why he denies being a protectionist. The reason Trump advocates protective duties against China is that China doesn't practice free trade itself. Trump claims that free trade is good, but it needs to be mutual. This issue is exactly what Bastiat addresses:
We have just seen that whatever increases the expense of conveying commodities from one country to another— in other words, whatever renders transport more onerous—acts in the same way as a protective duty; or if you prefer to put it in another shape, that a protective duty acts in the same way as more onerous transport.
A tariff, then, may be regarded in the same light as a marsh, a rut, an obstruction, a steep declivity—in a word, it is an obstacle, the effect of which is to augment the difference between the price the producer of a commodity receives and the price the consumer pays for it. In the same way, it is undoubtedly true that marshes and quagmires are to be regarded in the same light as protective tariffs.
There are people (few in number, it is true, but there are such people) who begin to understand that obstacles are not less obstacles because they are artificial, and that our mercantile prospects have more to gain from liberty than from protection, and exactly for the same reason that makes a canal more favorable to traffic than a steep, roundabout, and inconvenient road.
But they maintain that this liberty must be reciprocal. If we remove the barriers we have erected against the admission of Spanish goods, for example, Spain must remove the barriers she has erected against the admission of ours. They are, therefore, the advocates of commercial treaties, on the basis of exact reciprocity, concession for concession; let us make the sacrifice of buying, say they, to obtain the advantage of selling.
People who reason in this way, I am sorry to say, are, whether they know it or not, protectionists in principle; only, they are a little more inconsistent than pure protectionists, as the latter are more inconsistent than absolute prohibitionists.
The following apologue will demonstrate this:
STULTA AND PUERA
There were, no matter where, two towns called Stulta and Puera. They completed at great cost a highway from the one town to the other. When this was done, Stulta said to herself: “See how Puera inundates us with her products; we must see to it.” In consequence, they created and paid a body of obstructives, so called because their business was to place obstacles in the way of traffic coming from Puera. Soon afterwards Puera did the same.
At the end of some centuries, knowledge having in the interim made great progress, the common sense of Puera enabled her to see that such reciprocal obstacles could only be reciprocally hurtful. She therefore sent an envoy to Stulta, who, laying aside official phraseology, spoke to this effect: “We have made a highway, and now we throw obstacles in the way of using it. This is absurd. It would have been better to have left things as they were. We should not, in that case, have had to pay for making the road in the first place, nor afterwards have incurred the expense of maintaining obstructives. In the name of Puera, I come to propose to you, not to give up opposing each other all at once—that would be to act upon a principle, and we despise principles as much as you do—but to lessen somewhat the present obstacles, taking care to estimate equitably the respective sacrifices we make for this purpose.” So spoke the envoy. Stulta asked for time to consider the proposal, and proceeded to consult, in succession, her manufacturers and agriculturists. At length, after the lapse of some years, she declared that the negotiations were broken off.
On receiving this intimation, the inhabitants of Puera held a meeting. An old gentleman (they always suspected he had been secretly bought by Stulta) rose and said: The obstacles created by Stulta injure our sales, which is a misfortune. Those we have ourselves created injure our purchases, which is another misfortune. With reference to the first, we are powerless; but the second rests with ourselves. Let us, at least, get rid of one, since we cannot rid ourselves of both evils. Let us suppress our obstructives without requiring Stulta to do the same. Some day, no doubt, she will come to know her own interests better.
A second counselor, a practical, matter-of-fact man, guiltless of any acquaintance with principles, and brought up in the ways of his forefathers, replied: “Don’t listen to that Utopian dreamer, that theorist, that innovator, that economist, that Stultomaniac. We shall all be undone if the stoppages of the road are not equalized, weighed, and balanced between Stulta and Puera. There would be greater difficulty in going than in coming, in exporting than in importing. We should find ourselves in the same condition of inferiority relatively to Stulta as Havre, Nantes, Bordeaux, Lisbon, London, Hamburg, and New Orleans are with relation to the towns situated at the sources of the Seine, the Loire, the Garonne, the Tagus, the Thames, the Elbe, and the Mississippi, for it is more difficult for a ship to ascend than to descend a river. (A Voice: Towns at the mouths of rivers prosper more than towns at their source.) This is impossible. (Same Voice: But it is so.) Well, if it be so, they have prospered contrary to rules.” Reasoning so conclusive convinced the assembly, and the orator followed up his victory by talking largely of national independence, national honor, national dignity, national labor, inundation of products, tributes, murderous competition. In short, he carried the vote in favor of the maintenance of obstacles; and if you are at all curious on the subject, I can point out to you countries where you will see with your own eyes Road-makers and Obstructives working together on the most friendly terms possible, under the orders of the same legislative assembly, and at the expense of the same taxpayers, the one set endeavoring to clear the road, and the other set doing their utmost to render it impassable. [emphasis added]
Trump is that second counselor. He still hasn't thought of an answer to the old gentleman. And who, exactly, is asking him to?
Now this is a hard one, because when it comes to immigration, you know that the 11 million illegals, even if given the right to vote. You know you're going to have to do what's right. But the fact is 11 million people will be voting Democratic. You can be out front, you can be the spearhead, you can do whatever you want to do, but every one of those 11 million people will be voting Democratic. It's just the way it works, and you have to be very, very careful, because you could say, that to a certain extent, the odds aren't looking so great right now for Republicans, that you're on a suicide mission. You're just not going to get those votes. [emphasis added]
What Trump said is:
Immigration is hard because the 11 million illegals are all going to vote Democratic after we give them the right to vote. And we "have to" give them the right to vote because that's "what's right". But we should be "careful" doing it because its' a "suicide mission" for Republicans. (But do it anyway.)
Why is it right to give illegal aliens the right to vote in America? Are we a country of laws, or not? This isn't just some kind of legal resident status (which would be bad enough), Trump is saying we have to give every illegal full citizenship including voting. No we don't have to do that! No that's not right!
I already knew Trump favors eminent domain, doesn't like guns, is pro-choice, has New York values, sympathizes with social justice warriors, and isn't very religious. I knew Trump favors big government healthcare because he has a "heart". And Trump favored taking in Syrian refugees, and funding Planned Parenthood, before changing his position.
I already knew Trump doesn't want to cutback on Social Security and Medicare. His ridiculous entitlements plan (that he advocated at CPAC 2013 and 2014, not just on the campaign trail today) is no reforms or cutbacks, just grow the economy and don't worry about spending. Trump is not a small government kinda guy.
I already knew Trump had praised Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Al Sharpton. I already knew he was involved with some of the worst leftists. I already knew thinks he can make deals with the left as President, instead of standing up to the Washington Cartel.
I already knew that Trump was squishy as hell on Free Speech – when Muslim terrorists attacked a free speech event in Texas, Trump questioned why people say offensive things that "taunt" Islamofascists.
The assumption Ann's readers will make is that Trump is against suicide. Nope. Trump was demanding suicide!
He wasn't saying, "It's suicide, don't do it." He was saying, "It's suicide, so be 'careful' with it, but we 'have to' do it anyway because it's 'right'."
How can Ann take a speech where Trump advocates giving every illegal alien the right to vote in US elections – even though he thinks this will destroy the Republican party – and then tell us to support Trump (as a Republican!) because he's great on immigration? Why is Ann covering for Trump on the one issue she cares about?
Ann told us that Trump was the one guy joined her in opposing immigration in CPAC 2014.
When you let the 11 million — which will grow to 30 million people — in, I don't care who stands up, whether it's Marco Rubio, and talks about letting everybody in, you won't get one vote. Every one of those votes goes to the Democrats. You have to do what's right; it's not about the votes necessarily. But of those 11 million potential voters which will go to 30 million in a not too long future, you will not get any of those votes no matter what you do, no matter how nice you are, no matter how soft you are, no matter how many times you say 'rip down the fence and let everybody in' you're not going to get the votes. So with immigration, you better be smart and you better be tough, and they're taking your jobs, and you better be careful. You better be careful. [emphasis added]
This transcript isn't perfect. He actually said it twice in the video at 14:50: "Now with that you have to do what's right. You have to do what's right. It's not about the votes necessarily." Trump emphasized doing what's "right". Regardless of who they're going to vote for, you have to do the right thing. Let them vote even though it will be for Democrats. That means amnesty.
I support Ted Cruz who has wanted to build a wall since at least 2012. Cruz, besides being better than Trump on individual issue after issue, is smarter and more principled. Cruz favors free markets, limited government, and liberty in a way Donald Trump doesn't understand.
In US politics, pro-life people hate Planned Parenthood, and pro-choice people defend it.
Last night in the GOP primary debate, Donald Trump (who now claims to be pro-life, despite past statements that he's very pro-choice) got criticized for his support of Planned Parenthood. After calling Ted Cruz a liar, Trump bizarrely continued by saying that Planned Parenthood does wonderful things, thus freshly demonstrating that Cruz is right.
I've heard a lot of right-wing atheists, like many libertarians, complain about Republican opposition to abortion. It's a big sticking point that lures them leftward. What I don't hear them talk about as much is that Planned Parenthood should not receive taxpayer funding; that violates the proper role of government and taxes. But what I really don't see them saying is that Planned Parenthood is an evil organization.
Contrary to the typical dynamics, I'm pro-abortion and anti-Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood is not just a "neutral organization that provides abortions and other health services", as many people seem to imagine (without having done any research). It's a radical (and powerful) leftist institution which actively promotes evil agendas.
Planned Parenthood was founded by the racist eugenicist Margaret Sanger. Why? Because she disliked human beings. She liked abortion because she wanted fewer black, poor and stupid people to exist. She wanted to control and limit the human population and get rid of the types of people she considered undesirable. She also advocated sterilizing people and contraceptives. Abortion was one more tactic designed to promote the agenda of population control and race purification.
(This stuff is not controversial or seriously disputed. Research it if you're curious.)
The "pro-choice" position is disgusting. The issue is: is abortion murder? To reply to that with "it's a woman's choice" is absolutely stunning. Everyone should find this shocking and appalling.
The only defensible pro-abortion answer could be, "No, abortion is not murder."
I don't want to debate all the details and get into exactly where the line should be, but I will now tell you why I favor abortions in the first trimester:
I don't believe in God or the soul. I consider that mysticism. I look at the issue scientifically.
For murder to take place, there must be a human being which is murdered. I don't think a sperm or egg is a human being. And nor do I think an embryo is a human being.
What would it take for me to believe there is a human being capable of being murdered? At minimum, it would have to have a brain which has some electrical activity. Without the physical existence of a brain, which is doing something, there cannot be a human mind. And without a mind, there's no person. No mind means no consciousness. No mind means no one there to have preferences, to think, to say "I", to want to live.
I've noticed a lot of Democrat politicians say they are "personally against abortion", but want it to be legal. They also say they'd like abortion to be "safe, legal and rare". My question is: why?
If abortion isn't murder, then why are you personally against it? If abortion isn't murder, why do you want it to be rare?
What claims are there about abortion being bad, other than the issue of murder? What anti-abortion ideas do these people believe? In what non-murder way is abortion bad? They never explain and this has never made any sense.
The exceptions that even many pro-life people make to allow abortion are weird. Suppose that human life begins at conception and abortion is murder:
If abortion is murder, why should being raped make murder acceptable? Why should incest justify murder? If that's a human being in the womb, it doesn't matter how it got there, and how unwanted it may be, it's absolutely not OK to murder it.
The life of the mother exception is the only one that makes any sense. If the mother's life is in danger, then you'd have a consideration (a human life) that could actually matter when discussing killing a human being in the womb.
Some pro-life people would ask me: "How confident are you in your science? Do you really want to risk it? What's so great about abortion to be worth the risk that it's murder? Why not just let this issue go?"
The answer is that abortion is important. Having a child is a huge change to the life of the mother and father. Parenting is a really big deal. It absolutely makes enough difference for the abortion issue to be worth exploring.
Not everyone wants to have a child. And people who do want one may want their child later. And that's good. People are right to decide if and when they should start a family. Making good decisions about that is a big deal. Parenthood should indeed be "planned"! It deserves thought, organization, and being with the right co-parent.
Abortion can enable choosing a different person to marry who you get along with better. It can enable finishing your education. It can enable having a savings and keeping your finances under control your whole life, rather than having a kid early and struggling with money for decades. These are a big deal.
Abortion helps prevent the unfortunate situation of a man paying child support and a stressed single mom trying to cope. That's not a good situation. It happens. Abortions let some people avoid that fate.
Abortions make a big positive difference in some people's lives.
You may ask: Why can't people just use contraceptives? Aren't the people getting abortions irresponsible?
Contraceptives are not 100% effective. But, yes, many people getting abortions are irresponsible. So what? If you want to work to teach people to think better, live more responsibly, etc, go right ahead. That'd be great. Not letting them get an abortion will not help them.
You may ask: Do some people use abortion as a backup plan to help enable a more promiscuous lifestyle? Does it contribute to cads and sluts having drunken parties, rather than doing something more worthwhile with their time?
Yes. But the potential misuse of a technology is no reason to ban it. Medical technology, like plaster casts to help heal broken bones, enable people to be more reckless in their lives, but it's still a good thing.
You may ask: Why can't they just be abstinent if they aren't prepared to be a parent?
It's a matter of freedom. Many people have different values than you. Some live sinfully. Some live pretty responsibly but do have pre-marital sex.
On the premise that abortion isn't murder, then: it's a technology which helps some people's lifestyles. Whether those lifestyles are good or bad, as long as it's non-violent, non-criminal, non-rights-violating, they deserve liberty and tolerance. If you've got some suggestions about how to live better, go ahead and persuade people, but do not use the government to ban technologies.
H1B visas allow immigrants for filling high tech jobs. They're getting attention currently from anti-immigration presidential candidates like Ted Cruz and Donald Trump.
Some right wing people like the idea of H1B visas, contrary to the Republican presidential candidates. H1B visas sound compatible with the free market. What's wrong with educated immigrants coming here to work? Isn't that part of free trade? Doesn't capitalism mean competing in a global marketplace?
A fired Disney employee gave emotional testimony about the H1B program recently. He said Disney workers were forced to train foreigners to replace them at their jobs with threats of withholding their severance pay if they didn't do it. And they were lied to about the availability of other Disney jobs to transfer to.
A lot of people are upset. Some libertarians don't care. They say, "Too bad, anyone should be able to be fired for no reason at any time".
I looked at how H1B visas work. To bring in foreign workers, you have to agree to pay them market wages and you aren't allowed to displace American workers from their jobs.
Disney brought in foreign labor as a cost cutting measure. They wanted to fire Americans and pay the new workers less money. This is a blatant abuse of the H1B program. Whatever you think immigration policy should be, it's bad when companies break the law.
The H1B visa program is only meant to bring in workers for tech jobs that a company couldn't find an American to do. The point is not to get cheaper labor, it's to get labor at all when there's a shortage. Disney is abusing the spirit of the program and violating the clearly written terms of how this law works.
None of this is ambiguous. Let me show you some of the conditions involved with bringing in H1B workers:
Wages: Pay nonimmigrants at least the local prevailing wage or the employer’s actual wage, whichever is higher, and pay for non-productive time. Offer nonimmigrants benefits on the same basis as offered to U.S. workers.
Displacement: Non-displacement of the U.S. workers in the employer’s workforce
Secondary Displacement: Non-displacement of U.S. workers in another employer’s workforce
Recruitment and Hiring: Recruitment of U.S. workers and hiring of U.S. workers applicant(s) who are equally or better qualified
Finally, I want to explain, from a free market capitalist perspective, why the H1B visa program is crony capitalism, not free market competition.
Capitalists might think, "if the foreigners will work for lower wages, that's a good thing and they should be hired".
But, workers who come here with the H1B program can't really change jobs. They are stuck with the company sponsoring their H1B visa. So they don't get to freely compete on the market, and therefore they get underpaid.
US citizenship has value. The H1B program lets some government-favored companies hand out valuable US citizenships – which the company is given for free – and then pocket that value in lower wages paid to the immigrants. And that's in addition to the lower wages they can pay to people for the several years where firing them would mean they get deported.
American workers cannot compete on wages with workers who are underpaid because they can't change jobs, and who take lower pay in return for immigrating. That isn't an ideal of capitalism, it's government distorting market wages. And it's a way for companies with friends in the government to get ahead – crony capitalism.
Edit: My mistake: H1B is a temporary work permit. It can last for 3-10 years but they don't get citizenship. Consequently it's called a non-immigrant visa. Thanks Justin.
This doesn't substantially change any of my arguments. A permit for staying in the US has value, just as handing out a citizenship would. And with the H4 visa, they can bring in their wife and kids, who may be able to work or go to school in the US too, while the H1B visa lasts.
H1B workers still have less job mobility than domestic workers.
And people here on an H1B visa are allowed to seek a green card and try to stay permanently. It can be a step which helps them immigrate. Wikipedia says:
Even though the H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa, it is one of the few visa categories recognized as dual intent, meaning an H-1B holder can have legal immigration intent (apply for and obtain the green card) while still a holder of the visa. In the past the employment-based green card process used to take only a few years, less than the duration of the H-1B visa itself. However, in recent times the legal employment-based immigration process has backlogged and retrogressed to the extent that it now takes many years for guest-work visa holders from certain countries to obtain green cards. Since the duration of the H-1B visa hasn't changed, this has meant that many more H-1B visa holders must renew their visas in one or three-year increments for continued legal status while their green card application is in process.
I tried to participate in a reddit AMA ("ask me anything") for Ann Coulter. I was immediately banned:
That's everything I said. Then:
A few minutes later the moderators changed their mind and made it a permanent ban because, apparently, I'm a "moron". (I had said nothing further.) What's moronic about doing fact checking and research regarding Ann's writing? I found a clear error in Adios America which should be fixed. Instead I get banned:
The mob that came to disrupt the Trump rally in Chicago was neither spontaneous nor innocent, nor new. It was a mob that has been forming ever since the Seattle riots against the World Trade Organization in 1999, whose target was global capitalism. The Seattle rioters repeated their outrages for the next two years and then transformed itself into the so-called “anti-war” movement to save the Saddam dictatorship in Iraq. Same leaders, funders and troops. The enemy was always America and its Republican defenders. When Obama invaded countries and blew up families in Muslim countries, there was no anti-war movement because Obama was one of them, and they didn’t want to divide their support. In 2012 the so-called “anti-war” movement reformed as “Occupy Wall Street.” They went on a rampage creating cross-country riots to protesting the One Percent and provided a whipping boy for Obama’s re-election campaign. Same leaders, same funders and troops. In 2015 the same leftwing forces created and funded Black Lives Matter and lynch mobs in Ferguson and Baltimore who targeted “white supremacists” and police.
Behind all the mobs was the organized left – MoveOn.org, the public sector unions run by Sixties leftovers, and the cabal of anti-American billionaires led by George Soros. The mobs themselves were composed of the hate-filled foot soldiers of the political left. [...] The plan is defeat Republicans in November so that the destructive forces they have set in motion in the Democratic Party can finish the wrecking job that Obama started.
And what has been the reaction of the presidential candidates, particularly those who propose to save the country? It is to blame Trump as though he and not the left had instigated the riot. If you play with matches like Trump did, opined Hillary Clinton, you’re likely to start a fire. [...]
According to the proudly positive John Kasich, it was Trump who created the “toxic environment” that led to the riot – not the fascist movement that has been metastasizing in our universities and streets for more than a decade.
Great stuff. I agree.
Cruz and Rubio also said bad stuff about this like Kasich.
He is often guilty of over-reach – “punch him in the nose” directed at one disrupter, but this is hardly the sin his detractors suggest in comparing him to Mussolini. That is a much great violence to the man who is its target. Aside from Trump’s compulsive over-reach what is wrong with anger in the current political context?
An aside: it's not a compulsion. It's bad ideas. Those bad ideas have consequences. It's not an isolated mental illness to treat as a singular quirk and ignore. It matters. It doesn't matter that much relative to a lot of the other election issues. But one should argue that Trump is mistaken rather than dehumanize him as sick (a human being that is, in this aspect, broken) because he thinks differently than you do.
as someone who until very recently held high opinions of Rubio and Cruz
But why have a high opinion of Rubio? Rubio has been such a lying amnesty-pusher for years. Cruz went to the senate and actually stood up for good ideas. Rubio, like most politicians, isn't willing to fight for good ideas and actually get things done. Instead, he betrayed his campaign promises and worked with the Democrats to advance their agenda.
And as to Cruz, yes he's getting the mob "protestors" issue wrong. But he's still the best candidate by far. Trump has said much worse, as Horowitz must know. See:
Flashback: Donald Trump said, “I watched Pam earlier, and it really looks like she’s just taunting everybody. What is she doing drawing Muhammad? I mean it’s disgusting. Isn’t there something else they could be doing? Drawing Muhammad?…They can’t do something else? They have to be in the middle of Texas doing something on Muhammad and insulting everybody? What is she doing? Why is she doing it? It’s probably very risky for her — I don’t know, maybe she likes risk? But what the hell is she doing?”
Cruz got Garland right. Trump got it horribly wrong. Trump's mistake on Garland is worse than Cruz's current mistake. Yet Horowitz is writing like Cruz is somehow now not as good as Trump. None of the candidates are perfect – not even close – but Cruz is much better overall.
Trump isn’t the enemy. Like you he is opposed to the Iran deal, supports a secure border, recognizes the Islamist threat, wants to reduce taxes and make the country solvent, and is greatly expanding the Republican base.
This is the most interesting part of Horowitz's article to me, because it gets to the heart of Trump. If only Trump was actually like this I'd be pretty happy with him as a second choice. If Trump actually was like the people voting for him believe, he'd be a pretty good candidate.
The problem is he's not.
Trump is squishy on the Iran deal, as Cruz revealed at the last debate. Trump won't rip it to shreds immediately, like Cruz. Instead, Trump plans to try to renegotiate a better deal. As if Iran could be a negotiation partner. Iran doesn't want a deal and doesn't want peace, they want to kill us – the "Great Satan" – as they frequently say in public.
Trump doesn't recognize the Islamist threat correctly, as revealed with his Garland comments and his "neutral" position on Israel and the Palestinians. Cruz is a great friend of Israel. Trump absolutely isn't. Trump thinks that the Palestinians, like the Iranians, can be partners in peace to negotiate with.
Is a guy who dislikes Israel, and dislikes Pamela Geller, going to be all that good on Muslim issues generally? That doesn't make sense.
The problem with Trump is he's a leftist at heart and if he's President we're going to get little if any of the hard-right policy-making we want. Trump will make deals, make compromises, and actively pursue a variety of leftwing agendas from funding Planned Parenthood with taxpayer dollars to having the taxpayer take care of everyone's healthcare to preventing any cuts to entitlements to generally refusing to cut down the government at all. Trump only wants to remove waste, fraud and abuse, not actually have a smaller government. Trump wants the government to be better run and make better deals, but he doesn't want to fundamentally change it much. That won't make our country solvent.
And Trump easily caves in to pressure and whims – and lifelong New York values – because he lacks strong classical liberal principles. Hence he called Scalia a racist. And Trump was in favor of letting in Syrian refugees before he was against it.
Will Trump be good on capitalism? No, he's a protectionist. Will Trump even be good on immigration? He gave two pro-amnesty CPAC speeches. One of the few areas Trump might actually be good – which no one is talking about – is energy.
Trump funded and praised the likes of Hillary Clinton and Harry Reid. And he praised Obama in 2009. Is this a guy who is really going to reverse Obama's policies and fight for Republican ideas?
Ted Cruz has a track record of standing up to the establishment Washington Cartel. Trump has no credibility that he will do that, and actually has repeatedly said he won't. Trump says he'll get along with people like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, and even the Democrats who Trump mistakenly believes are reasonable people that you can work with.
Trump fundamentally doesn't understand our adversaries. You can't make a deal without common ground and some shared values. You can only work together when you share some goals. Either Trump shares a lot of values with the left, or he's naive and misunderstand how thoroughly evil the left is. Or, I think, both. As Daniel Horowitz put it:
Trump keeps saying we need to make deals just like Reagan did with Tip O’Neill. What he needs to understand is that Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and the entire modern Democrat Party are nothing like O’Neill. You can’t work with them and he needs to learn that.
A police union boss has requested the public be disarmed in Cleveland for the Republican National Convention. Ohio Governor Kasich refused. I think disarming the public is a bad idea. Let's look at events as reported by CNN:
"We are sending a letter to Gov. Kasich requesting assistance from him. He could very easily do some kind of executive order or something -- I don't care if it's constitutional or not at this point," Stephen Loomis, president of Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association, told CNN. "They can fight about it after the RNC or they can lift it after the RNC, but I want him to absolutely outlaw open-carry in Cuyahoga County until this RNC is over."
Loomis openly doesn't respect the constitution, he just wants his way. He wants to give the orders and not be limited by concerns about the rule of law. And he doesn't sound very interested in having the gun ban be temporary.
I assume Loomis also wants to outlaw concealed carry. I wonder if he wants to outlaw private security, too. Should Trump be banned from hiring the bodyguards of his choice? Or should the government hand out special gun-allowance exceptions to some privileged people?
"We are going to be looking very, very hard at anyone who has an open carry," he said. "An AR-15, a shotgun, multiple handguns. It's irresponsible of those folks -- especially right now -- to be coming downtown with open carry AR's or anything else. I couldn't care less if it's legal or not. We are constitutional law enforcement, we love the Constitution, support it and defend it, but you can't go into a crowded theater and scream fire. And that's exactly what they're doing by bringing those guns down there."
Loomis doesn't care about the law, he just wants arbitrary power. People like him are a reason why we need our guns!
Americans want to protect themselves. Self-defense is especially crucial at this time of domestic terrorism by (or inspired by) Black Lives Matter. There's also an ongoing threat from radical Islam.
Loomis reasonably thinks there's a danger. It's especially irresponsible to disarm Americans who are known to be in danger.
Kasich, responding to the request, said: "Ohio governors do not have the power to arbitrarily suspend federal and state constitutional rights or state laws as suggested."
Great reply. I didn't like Kasich much during the 2016 primaries because he's a Democrat-friendly moderate. But here he's standing up for some principles! He's defending gun rights and limited government power. I appreciate that.
Convention CEO Jeff Larson said that organizers remained confident in the security measures currently in place and did not expect Kasich to take any new action.
"The open carry laws in Ohio haven't changed recently, it's been in effect for quite some time, they've had a number of big events that have taken place with open carry without any issues," he told reporters Sunday afternoon. "They've been planning their security around that issue."
That makes sense.
Consider the political meaning for the national gun debate if the RNC takes extraordinary measures to disarm the public. It would signal that even Republicans consider an armed public to be an extraordinary danger. That would marginalize gun owners and advocates.
People frequently call for special exceptions when there's a crisis or a situation is extra important in some way. But the important cases are when we most need to follow our principles and use good methods. When the stakes are high, we should use our best approach, not use an ad hoc plan B.
To disarm the public in a crisis implies that a disarmed public is actually the best and safest approach. If we disarm the public when we want to maximize safety, it implies a disarmed public is always safer. That's anti-American.
Armed Americans are a good thing. People should appreciate gun-owners and recognize that, on the whole, guns increase safety. Don't be scared of your neighbors, they're not thugs. Most Americans are good people who use guns for defense.
If guns are bad when there's a threat of violence, when are they good? Just for sports and hunting, but never for defense? Is gun-ownership just a compromise because we don't have enough policemen to be everywhere? I don't think so.
If cops can't protect an armed public in Cleveland, when can they? When would cops ever be able to safely deal with gun-carrying Americans?
Americans don't want to rely on the government for protection. They don't want to trust in authority. Americans value self-reliance and the ability to get on with their own lives and take care of themselves. They don't want to be dependents. That's a great attitude!
Gun free zones are targets. Disarming the public encourages crime. It means criminals just have to dodge cops, but don't have to worry about armed resistance from their victims.
Also, it's not all that hard to sneak weapons through security into airports. Even with pretty ideal conditions, screening people is really hard. People with bad intentions will be able to sneak weapons into Cleveland. Outlawing guns would primarily disarm law-abiding citizens, not terrorists.
And it's important to go on with life as usual whenever possible. We shouldn't respond to terrorist threats in ways that disrupt daily life unless we really have to (e.g. we find an abandoned suitcase and have evidence it contains a bomb). There's no clear, immediate danger in Cleveland, just broad general concerns.
The world is watching and our choices have both symbolic and practical value. Let's demonstrate that, when the stakes are high, armed Americans are a good thing, and we don't have to rely on the government for everything important.
I took breaks while reading to tweet about it. Here's my tweets: Elliot Temple @curi42 7 hours ago
Elliot Temple Retweeted Ann Coulter
If you buy the Kindle version, you can read In Trump We Trust early at 9pm pacific tonight. :)
Ann Coulter @AnnCoulter
OUT TOMORROW: IN TRUMP WE TRUST: E Pluribus Awesome! http://amzn.to/2bcS9NV
Elliot Temple @curi42 6 hours ago
Elliot Temple Retweeted Donald J. Trump
Yeah! It comes out at 9pm pacific time (midnight eastern) tonight if you buy on Kindle! :)
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump [email protected]'s new book, 'In Trump We Trust, comes out tomorrow. People are saying it's terrific - knowing Ann I am sure it is!
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 7h7 hours ago [email protected]'s new book, 'In Trump We Trust, comes out tomorrow. People are saying it's terrific - knowing Ann I am sure it is!
4,807 retweets 14,113 likes
Elliot Temple @curi42 3 hours ago
Islam’s PR Agency: The American Media
Elliot Temple @curi42 3 hours ago
So Close! The Plan to Destroy America Was Almost Complete
Elliot Temple @curi42 3 hours ago
Trump Builds Wall, Makes GOP Pay for It
Elliot Temple @curi42 3 hours ago
The table of contents for In Trump We Trust by @AnnCoulter looks great :)
Elliot Temple @curi42 1 hour ago
"You don’t want to pore through forty or fifty of them, so . . . Oh, the hell with you—here are forty or fifty examples:"
Luv u @AnnCoulter
Elliot Temple @curi42 1 hour ago
CHAPTER SEVEN: No Policy Specifics!
best one so far @AnnCoulter
Elliot Temple @curi42 46 minutes ago
The media always lies. The media always lies. The media always lies.
My favorites were chapter 7 and the appendix. So many quotes!
Elliot Temple @curi42 5 minutes ago
Trump’s closest competitor, Ted Cruz, was the only rival smart enough to adopt nearly all of Trump’s positions on immigration. @AnnCoulter
Elliot Temple @curi42 4 minutes ago
Between them, they won 80 percent of the vote in a multiple-candidate field @AnnCoulter
Elliot Temple @curi42 3 minutes ago
It is no longer a question of what the party wants. The combined vote for Trump and Cruz is a ringing chorus …
Elliot Temple @curi42 2 minutes ago
And the voters said: WE CAN’T WAIT! WE’RE GOING TO BE LIVING IN AMERICA AGAIN! @AnnCoulter
Elliot Temple @curi42 1 minute ago
“Jeb Bush, who might be president, & … Trump, who won’t be president, competing for media oxygen, and well, it was a contest.” @AnnCoulter
Elliot Temple @curi42 1 minute ago
“At the end of the day, it’s quite possible that Donald Trump will get 11 percent in New Hampshire, but that might be his cap.” @AnnCoulter
Elliot Temple @curi42 53 seconds ago
“He’s an entertainer. And therefore he’s popular. But he will not be the nominee.” @AnnCoulter
Elliot Temple @curi42 33 seconds ago
The Drudge Report, April 28, 2016: Trump most votes in Republican history. @AnnCoulter
Elliot Temple @curi42 [I edited my post to add this one in :)]
My IN TRUMP WE TRUST review is done! Great book! Great read! What a thriller! Couldn't put it down! http://curi.us/1881-in-trump-we-trust … @AnnCoulter
Elliot Temple @curi42 [I edited my post to add this one in too ]
Thank you @AnnCoulter
I also had a few book comments I wrote on IMs. Here you go:
omg dude Ann referencing pua shit [editor's note: "shit" means "stuff". this isn't an insult.]
To avoid telling voters what they really planned to do—i.e., give the donors whatever they want—Republican politicians have an annoying habit of saying, “People are frustrated.” They understand, they’re listening—and they’re not answering the question. It’s as if Republican consultants all read a book on how to pick up girls and the only thing they learned was “mirroring.” Candidates have learned to recite a series of facts about the topic as if that constituted a full and satisfactory answer. What would you do to create jobs? Our economy has changed. How would you handle ISIS? ISIS is an organization formed in 2006 by a number of Iraqi insurgent groups . . . What would you do about immigration? People are frustrated!
Mirroring is fine for the non-front-burner issues candidates are asked about—transgender bathrooms and whether they talk to God. But pointlessly reciting facts has become a vehicle for candidates to avoid telling us their positions on anything.
The only deep insight Republicans have had for the past three decades is: Be Reagan! This wouldn’t be a bad plan, inasmuch as Reagan was a wildly successful president (followed by a typically incompetent Bush), except: (1) Reagan was president in the 1980s, and (2) today’s Republicans don’t seem to remember Reagan.
They are the political version of the cargo cult, a primitive tribe that worshiped modern technology without understanding how it worked, holding coconuts up to their ears as if they were air traffic controllers. Republicans believe they can capture Reagan’s greatness by repeating his answers to the problems of three decades ago.
ann wrong that just keeping muslims out makes us safe. iran! nukes & icbms!
Our current national security threat comes from millions of Islamic savages spread throughout half the globe. Americans are slaughtered not by invading Soviet troops, Red Dawn style, but by Islamic terrorists flying commercial airplanes into our skyscrapers, setting off bombs at the Boston Marathon, and shooting up American military bases, community centers, and gay nightclubs. Americans are raped and maimed not by the Red Army but by millions of illegal aliens waltzing across our wide-open border. Our freedoms are being taken away not by a foreign power but by our own government—in order to protect us from terrorists, international crime rings, and Mexican drug cartels.
The downside to our new enemy is: no war can defeat them. But the upside is: they have no capacity to harm a hair on any American’s head, unless we let them come here. Does a candidate who calls illegal immigration an “act of love” really care about making Americans “safe”?
Even after Trump began to release position papers loaded up with policy details, journalists and pundits agreed: No policy specifics! The public could not be allowed to imagine for one minute that Trump’s appeal had anything to do with his issues.
Here are a few examples. You don’t want to pore through forty or fifty of them, so . . . Oh, the hell with you—here are forty or fifty examples:
THIS IS GREAT
BEST CHAPTER SO FAR
It would be as if we were dying to go to Milwaukee. We pack our bologna sandwiches, go to the Greyhound terminal, pay our fare, and walk to the line of buses. San Francisco—Nope! St. Louis—Nope! The Grand Tetons—Nope! Milwaukee—That’s us! We ask the driver if the bus is going to Milwaukee and he says yes, so we get on board. The doors close, and just as the bus is taking off—the driver announces that we’re headed to Austin, Texas.
We curse, ride the bus for three days, get out in Austin, and look for another bus to Milwaukee. We pay the fare, find the signs, ask the driver where he’s going—Milwaukee!—and as soon as we’re in our seats and the doors are locked, the driver tells us the bus is going to Atlantic City.
After this happens a dozen more times and we’ve been all over the country, we’re bleary-eyed, sleepless, and frustrated. We get on another bus, it takes off, and this time the driver turns around and . . . it’s Donald Trump! He tells us, We’re going to Milwaukee. We don’t care what route he’s taking. We don’t care if he sticks to interstate highways or prefers the back roads. We don’t care if he keeps the air-conditioning too hot or too cold. We just want to go to Milwaukee. As long as we finally have a guy who’s going to take us where we want to go, WE DON’T CARE ABOUT THE DETAILS.
GOOD FENCES MAKE GOOD NEIGHBORS—ESPECIALLY IF THE NEIGHBORS ARE CHILD-RAPING DRUG DEALERS.
GOOD FENCES MAKE GOOD NEIGHBORS—ESPECIALLY IF THE NEIGHBORS ARE CHILD-RAPING DRUG DEALERS.
[Twice was for emphasis.]
Neither Angela nor Alfredo spoke English, despite having lived in this country for twenty-two and twenty-eight years, respectively. Nor did their teenage children.
Two of Angela’s illegal alien sisters—out of ten siblings in the country illegally—had already fled California for Lexington, Kentucky, because—I quote—there were “fewer Mexicans there.” The sister Alejandra raved about Kentucky, saying, “We’re in a state where there’s nothing but Americans.” She noted the clean streets, police presence, and lack of gang activity. In California, she complained, “everyone thinks like in Mexico.”
That was in 2006. Two years later:
DRAMATIC INCREASE OF IMMIGRANTS IN KENTUCKY
Police tell us that the Latin Kings, Surenos and MS-13 gangs, all with ties to the Mexican Mafia are operating criminal enterprises in Kentucky. Cells have been identified in Shelbyville, Louisville and Lexington. A narcotics officer told us some illegals have wired 15,000 dollars a week for months to cartels in Mexico.
[Shelbyville city councilman] Shane Sutter said, “We don’t have a swat team. We don’t have a gang task force. We’re just a small town.187
the article opens by saying stuff i'd agree is how this normally works. it says:
Trump is finding out that there is a super-secret club handshake in the black community. And the only white people who have been provided that code are white liberal progressive socialists.
so: blacks won't listen to reasonable white republicans, only racist leftists offering them a free lunch (at taxpayer expense. which is never actually delivered. the dems have not actually treated the black community well, they just promise to).
however i don't think this applies to Trump because he's saying different things than Republicans normally do.
i don't think Trump is finding this out. i think he knows and what he's doing will work well anyway.
Trump is calling the Democrats racist – which they are – and explaining how they've been screwing over blacks for the last 60 years – which they have. democrats are the ones who have overseen the inner cities and chosen the policies that have failed so badly.
democrats are also straightforwardly racist in that they seek to make race matter in society and policy, e.g. with affirmative action, rather than pursuing race-blind policies. democrats are the party that categorizes people into groups (blacks, women, etc) and then tries to treat each group differently. (which i think really sucks).
many republicans respond with "i'm not racist, i have a black friend" or other lines that are equally shitty. so they don't get anywhere with the black vote.
Trump is appealing to the reasonable black people. there is a vocal minority of black people who are totally anti-white racist, hardcore leftists, and will not listen to any republican including trump. they include the people inciting or participating in violence. but you know what? the majority of black people are decent Americans who do not want violence in their communities and don't hate whites or cops. republicans have done a bad job of speaking to them, and some republicans have actually been appeasing the loud extremists like the democrats do (but without winning any BLM votes away from the dems). trump's message can appeal to e.g. non-BLM black voters.
it's a similar story with hispanics. the democrats pander to hispanics with lies and break their promises. a lot of stupid republicans then try to pander back by being e.g. pro-amnesty. a vocal minority of hispanics voters really want amnesty. but you know what? a lot of hispanics came here because they wanted to live in America, not in Mexico. a lot of blacks and hispanics don't want a ton of unskilled immigrants, legal or illegal, to compete for jobs with. lots of hispanics who came to the US are not loyal to their original countries and don't actually particularly care about helping other strangers from that country move to America. Trump's message can appeal to the hispanics who came here because they like America and prefer it to stay roughly how it is.
What amazes me is that here we have someone challenging the failed progressive policies of the inner city and his sincerity is questioned? Why has no one EVER questioned the sincerity of the Democrats who have run the inner cities of America for decades?
yeah. this is a major theme of David Horowitz.
btw he may be the source of Trump saying a lot of this stuff. in my understanding one of Trump's main speechwriters is a long time horowitz friend and fan.
the article brings up Soros. that is another major Horowitz theme. Soros is a really bad guy who is behind a lot of stuff. this book is really important:
Unless you have the super-secret handshake code, you cannot talk about black on black shootings and murders.
and yet Trump is doing it. sure a lot of the media may yell and scream about it, and a vocal minority of leftists may insult the hell out of Trump for it (which they were going to do anyway). but so what? i think Trump's strategy is working just fine. lots of quieter and more reasonable people are listening.
the people who only hear CNN's summary of what Trump said probably won't be persuaded because it's so distorted. by the people who listen to an actual Trump speech may well see he's got a point.
Steping back, what's going on overall? Some people want to charge higher taxes in Europe.
Normally tax increases work like this:
First you pass a law to increase taxes. Then the law goes into effect at a later date (giving companies time to prepare for it). Companies frequently raise their prices to pay for the new taxes. So the government screws customers and blames companies in the pursuit of unearned money to spend.
Let's suppose Apple will pay whatever the taxes are, but they'll raise their prices accordingly. I don't know if that's exactly how Apple wants to handle it, but it could be.
When new taxes are announced first, and then charged second, then Apple can set prices accordingly.
But Apple can't raise their prices for past sales.
Yet, here the government is trying to raise the taxes on past sales! That's really unfair. Demands for taxes after a sale, instead of before, prevent Apple from setting prices how they want to to deal with the taxes.
Apple may be thinking: "if only we'd known you wanted more taxes, we could have dealt with it, no problem, with higher prices to pay for them. but you didn't tell us until after the sales already happened and now we haven't charged enough money to pay these taxes. it's too late. fuck this!"
(Yes I know taxes are still problematic in various ways even if you have the opportunity to raise prices to pay them.)
My goal was to combine Trump speaking about inner cities with illustrative video footage. That helps make the meaning of terms like "ruined cities" more real to people.
It took two days and around 75 elements in Final Cut Pro X. It's not all that difficult to make a video. You just do one thing at a time. Eventually you have a bunch of stuff. I recommend it. My timeline looks like this:
Whose video is better? Tell us the in comments below...
Ted Cruz has endorsed Donald Trump. It's late. He should have done it at the convention. But it's a lot better than nothing.
Cruz was asked today whether he agrees with Trump's comment that Putin is a stronger leader than Obama.
Cruz said he isn't going to defend everything Trump says, and he's made his disagreements clear, but the two months before the election isn't the time to focus on those disagreements and Trump is way better than Hillary.
Here's what I think Cruz should have said:
I don't agree with Donald about everything. But I'll tell you, I do agree with him that Obama is a weak president. And Hillary would be weak too. Donald would have the strength and stamina to lead us, and I think that's important.
The differences between Donald and Hillary couldn't be clearer. It's a productive businessman running against a career politician who is also a lying criminal. Donald is going to build a security wall and he's going to do his best to Make America Great Again. When Donald makes a promise, he always promises to do something good like appoint constitutionalist supreme court judges or help lift blacks and hispanics out of poverty by protecting their civil right to school choice.
Hillary is a stark contrast. It's a certainty that she will appoint radical leftists to the supreme court, as she has promised to. It's a certainty that she'll do her best to keep our border open, and bring in more refugees we can't vet from areas controlled by ISIS or Al Qaeda. She has promised us more of the same: high taxes, the war on coal, Obamacare, and a divisive administration that considers half the country deplorable. And she would continue the same weak policies we saw with Obama's apology tour.
Elliot Temple 6 minutes ago
Elliot Temple Retweeted Donald J. Trump
Nothing on #IMMIGRATION. #debatesElliot Temple added,
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
Nothing on emails. Nothing on the corrupt Clinton Foundation. And nothing on #Benghazi. #Debates2016 #debatenight
Elliot Temple 11 minutes ago
sneaky hillary calling trump sexist when they are out of time to try to prevent any response. #debates
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 19 minutes ago
Russia has more warheads than ever, N Korea is testing nukes, and Iran got a sweetheart deal to keep theirs. Thanks, @HillaryClinton.
Elliot Temple 19 minutes ago
so are they saving immigration for the 7th debate? @AnnCoulter #debates
Elliot Temple 20 minutes ago
and Lester interrupts Trump again. twice. this is so unfair. #debates
I wrote this message to an Objectivist facebook group:
Supporting Trump is the only realistic way to stop Hillary this year. Stopping Hillary, and judging her to be worse than Trump, seems compatible with Objectivism to me. (Note Gary Johnson's problem isn't just that he can't get enough votes to stop Hillary. His campaign has actually been less anti-Hillary than Trump's campaign.)
Let's look at some of the issues to see that Hillary is a lot worse than Trump:
Trump is pro drilling for fossil fuels, Hillary wants to put coal miners out of work.
Trump opposes the Iran deal and Obamacare.
Trump wants to enforce US immigration law and secure our border against criminals and terrorists.
Trump isn't running as Obama's third term.
Trump has promised to appoint supreme court judges from a pro-constitution list. They aren't ideal, but Hillary will appoint truly awful judges.
Hillary wants to make government way bigger, more intrusive, more rights violating, bigger budget, more agencies, etc. Trump isn't any kinda small government guy. I'd guess Trump views himself as planning to keep government around the same size, and will in fact grow it significantly. But he won't expand government as much or as enthusiastically as Hillary.
Trump isn't a literal traitor who would be in jail if not for government corruption.
Trump likes America and wants us to win. He mostly promises to do good things (that he probably won't live up to very well). Hillary dislikes America and mostly promises to do bad things.
Trump is not very religious and is kinda moderate. I don't approve of moderates, but it's still better than Hillary. Moderate means compromises, lack of principles, and (for a right winger) some leftist sympathies. Trump will compromise and sympathize with the anti-life left in a variety of ways, and will not solve most of our problems. But Trump will also do a few things pretty well, and we'll fall apart slower than with Hillary who has promised to destroy us in a dozen ways.
One of the issues where Trump is a breath of fresh air is opposing establishment politicians in both parties. Will he fix it? Nah. He'll try a bit and we'll be better off with him than with Hillary who will intentionally make it worse. Of the people on the ballot, Trump's the best one to vote for.
Hate speech or advocacy against an individual, organization or protected group based on race, ethnicity, national origin, color, religion, disability, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status or other protected status.Violence or threats of violence against people or animals
Glorification of self-harm or related ads
Organizations or individuals associated with promoting hate, criminal, or terrorist-related content
Inflammatory content which is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction or cause harm.
Offensive, vulgar, abusive or obscene content
As broad as this is, my ad doesn't realistically fit. There's no hate speech or violence in my video. Twitter does allow political ads (even though they can evoke negative reactions). And vigorous political debates are common on Twitter.
Twitter also specifically allows both "[n]ews and information" and "[c]ommentary", which do fit my video.
This is the notification Twitter emailed me:
(I have no affiliation with Donald Trump or his campaign.)
Update: I contacted Twitter to ask specifically what the "Hate, sensitive topics, and violence" was. I've now received the following reply, "Apologies for any confusion, you are now eligible to use Twitter Ads." That does not address the issue. I can now run the ad again.
Trump's reputation is misleading. Politically incorrect remarks don't make you an extremist.
Trump's views on immigration have gotten the most negative reactions (and also many positive reactions). Instead of calling Trump a bigot, let's consider what Trump actually said: Illegal Mexican immigrants commit additional crimes (including rape) – that's true and documented. Mexico isn't sending us their best people! And Trump wants to pause Muslim immigration in the wake of Muslim terrorist attacks, until we figure out what's going on.
Trump (like me) isn't veryreligious and doesn't hategays. He's not going to be pushing Intelligent Design. Many typical concerns with right wing politicians don't apply to Trump.
Trump is no laissez-faire capitalist (as I am). He's a protectionist who wants to use taxes and tariffs to try to "win" at trade. He worries about "trade deficits" (which means more goods flow into our country than out). This is pretty moderate. He isn't much of a socialist, and he isn't much of a principled capitalist. He's not the kind of guy who will be trying to set up a gold standard and get the government out of the economy (as I would).
Trump isn't a small government booster (as I am). He's not looking to eliminate a bunch of government departments (like Ted Cruz proposed to). He doesn't even want to cut Social Security or Medicare (he says he'll improve the economy so much we can pay for them with no changes, which is absurd). I think Trump is planning to keep the government around the same size (and will actually make it bigger) – standard moderate stuff – whereas Hillary will enthusiastically expand government.
What about energy? Hillary wants to put coal miners out of work. Trump doesn't attack solar and wind power (as I would). Trump wants to pursue all types of energy. That's moderate. Trump favors reasonable energy policies like drilling for oil here because electricity is a good thing, it'll create jobs, and then we can buy less oil from unfree countries. Trying to cut back on fossil fuel use by over 50% in a few decades is an extreme position that would impoverish the country. Trump is being reasonable by siding with industrial civilization. I don't think it's a requirement of being left wing to want the dark ages back. I think there are decent left wing people who aren't anti-industry and anti-energy and could agree with Trump about energy.
There are left wing people who, like Trump, have a problem with Islam and Sharia. This isn't just about terrorism and Iran building nuclear weapons (which any decent person must oppose). There's also the Islamic oppression of women, homosexuals and minority groups (e.g. Christians and Jews). And there's Palestinian "schools" indoctrinating children into a death cult to hate Jews and do suicide bombing attacks. Leftists like Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins do not approve of this. How can any decent person defend it? You don't have to be a fan of Christianity to recognize that, today, Christianity treats people better than Islam does. (Let's not get distracted by the Crusades and Inquisition!)
Even on immigration, Trump holds some views that Democrats held not too long ago. Harry Reid (lead Democrat in the Senate) tried to end birthright citizenship (anchor babies) in 1993. Many of Trump's immigration positions, like building a wall, are already US law. Trump has emphasized he wants to enforce existing laws! That makes way more sense than having the same deported criminals keep coming back over the border.
In short, Trump is a moderate Main Street American who is being painted as an extremist by an extremely left-wing media.
Hillary Clinton is a dangerous choice for President. She is a criminal whose immigration policy is so bad it might destroy the United States.
This is a strong statement. It requires explanation.
Let's start with criminal. You've probably heard about the email scandal. It's a big deal:
Hillary set up a private email server in her house for official business while she was Secretary of State. This violated the law. There are exceptional situations where you can use regular email, e.g. in some emergencies. Setting up a private server for all your official government email clearly violates the Federal Records Act. It also thwarts Freedom of Information Act requests.
Hillary said there weren't classified emails sent across her private email server. She lied. The FBI Director confirmed that she lied. He called Hillary "extremely careless in [the] handling of very sensitive, highly classified information." Over 2000 emails on her server contained classified information. Some of the emails on her server even wound up being classified Top Secret. Hillary committed a crime. Security issues with her server have been well-documented and exposed national security secrets to foreign hackers. And that's not just my speculation – we know her server was probably hacked.
Hillary got a subpoena on March 4, 2015, from Congress, which was investigating Benghazi. Several weeks after that, an employee of the company that Hillary used to manage her email server deleted the emails using software called BleachBit to make the emails irrecoverable. Hillary lied when she said she only used her personal email – and only carried one device – for personal convenience. She also had at least some of her thirteen total devices destroyed with a hammer. Hillary obstructed justice. This is a crime.
The facts are not in dispute. Hillary may imagine some "vast right-wing conspiracy", but even the biased Washington Post confirms what happened.
The Washington Post defends Hillary saying that, "Clinton’s staff had requested the emails to be deleted months before the subpoena, according to the FBI’s August 2016 report." Suppose you're a regular person, and you intend to delete some emails. And then suppose the government asks for those emails in a subpoena, and you delete them anyway. The fact that you were intending to delete them before you got the subpoena is not a good enough reason to avoid going to jail. Most people getting the subpoena would say "Oh, I guess I shouldn't delete those now." But different rules apply to Clintons. And there's plenty of concrete reason to think that the FBI investigation may have been corrupted by backroom deals and shady donations.
Let's talk about enemies.
Hillary likes to talk tough about Russia. She's said she sees Putin as "a very cold-blooded, calculating former KGB agent" and said "his agenda is one that threatens American interests." Sounds like she thinks he's an enemy!
I agree – Putin is a very bad guy. That's why it disturbs me that Hillary's State Department approved the sale of half of America's uranium output (20% of our total supply) to a Russian company, in exchange for millions of dollars of donations for the Clinton Foundation! That sounds like helping the enemy to me.
Hillary didn't stop there. She's worked hard to undermine the US help Russia. Her State Department "recruited and facilitated the commitment of billions of American dollars in the creation of a Russian 'Silicon Valley' whose technological innovations include Russian hypersonic cruise-missile engines, radar surveillance equipment, and vehicles capable of delivering airborne Russian troops." Sixty percent of "Key Partners" of this "Russian Silicon Valley" either made financial commitments to the Clinton Foundation or sponsored speeches by Bill Clinton. Hillary also brags about having worked to ratify the New START Treaty with Russia, which involved the U.S. making a unilateral pledge to freeze its nuclear technological development, which hurts the United States' ability to defend itself.
Uranium is a strategic U.S. asset. Why did she give our uranium to the Russians? It's been documented that this was Pay for Play – the Clinton Foundation was paid to help Russia, and Hillary did it. She did this for money. Then she called Trump Putin's puppet, which really takes some nerve!
Hillary's problem is not just stuff she's done in the past. Hillary would harm our country big league. It came out in Wikileaks that Hillary's dream is open borders. The stuff in Wikileaks on open borders is damning, but mostly for confirming what we already knew. Hillary says right on her website she wants amnesty (by the codeword "comprehensive immigration reform") and to continue Obama's lawless executive amnesty programs (DACA and DAPA). She'd appoint Supreme Court Justices who would uphold executive amnesty, which was narrowly defeated by an equally divided Supreme Court. As Trump says, if you don't have borders, you don't have a country. Hillary is running with an agenda of not having a border. She has no plan for securing the border. She wants amnesty in the first 100 days. She wants a massive increase in Syrian refugees. She supports sanctuary cities. She wants illegal immigrants to be able to use Obamacare, and suggested that her amnesty plan would even let them qualify for Obamacare subsidies. She even has illegal immigrants doing voter registration for her campaign. Hillary's immigration policy is an agenda for destroying the United States.
Trump, by contrast, is a moderate. (Really! No joke. Read the link and see, rather than just listening to what the media tells you!)
This isn't the full case against Hillary Clinton. Even documenting just her corruption alone (let alone her criminality, incompetence, awful policies and older scandals and crimes) takes a whole book. But selling us out to Russia, and breaking US law, is plenty of reason to fear a Hillary presidency. A corrupt criminal whose immigration policy would destroy America is unfit to be President!
Anyone on the fence needs to get off. Even if you don't like Trump and think he's a jerk, it doesn't matter. Civilization is at stake. We need to stop a radical criminal like Hillary Clinton from being elected President.
Tons of immigration is great given your country is good at:
2) assimilation and cultural confidence
If your country is bad at capitalism and has a welfare state, then it works better to limit immigration to people who have money or valuable job skills (e.g. fully trained doctors), not people who will go on welfare.
If your country is bad at assimilation, it works better to limit immigration to people who already share similar values. For the US, that means mostly immigration from the English speaking nations.
The US needs to limit immigration – like Trump proposes – because we're bad at both these points. Yes I'm a classical liberal who would like free movement of persons as a matter of principle similar to free trade. But we don't live in a classical liberal society. Many classical liberal policies don't work when individually used in a culturally-relativist welfare society. Bringing in a bunch of anti-liberal immigrants who are going to stay anti-liberal is not a classical liberal policy!
Taking tax money from some Americans to give handouts to other Americans is bad enough. Bringing in a bunch of immigrants, then raising taxes (or debt) to give them handouts too, is stupid and destructive. Immigration should be for people who will support themselves.
Having millions of citizens who dislike our country is bad enough. Bringing in millions more people who don't like our country is stupid and destructive. Immigration should be for people who like American values and, while not necessarily understanding our values very well already, are willing to learn and change. (For example, someone who doesn't know English, and doesn't want to learn it, should not immigrate to the US.)
As to how bad the current Left is, it is far better than the Left of the 60s
I also understood Binswanger to have the position that it was OK not to vote for Reagan, because the left wasn't so bad then. And it's also OK not to vote for Trump, because the left isn't so bad now.
To better compare the left today with the recent past, I read an article from 1980 which talked about the current and past situation. Emphasis in quotes is added by me.
In terms of philosophical fundamentals, the direction is still downwards.
And it blames Kant.
At the end of the 60's, the leftists acted as if they owned the world. But in fact, their power never extended much beyond the inbred world of today's intellectuals; the leftists never owned, or even grasped the nature of, America.
Today, the leftists have real power. They've had the presidency for 8 years and they nearly had another 4. They own California, New York, Washington DC, and a lot more.
America took the other steps the "doves" demanded: we gutted the FBI and CIA, cut defense spending, abandoned the anti-missile system, recognized Red china, increased trade and exchanges with Soviet Russia, withdrew our support from anti-communist regimes, and gave away the panama canal. The movement has failed, however, in its ideological aim. With each falling domino, from South Vietnam right through to Afghanistan, the spectacular failure of appeasement and the insatiable aggressiveness of Russia have become so clear that even president Carter has felt constrained to declare that he has changed his mind about the Russians.
Obama and Hillary have not changed their mind about the Iranians.
The American public's furious indignation over Iran's seizure of hostages and Russia's invasion of Afghanistan is a dramatic confirmation of the fact that the "peace" movement has not succeeded in extinguishing this country's self-esteem.
This year, Obama paid a fortune in ransom money for the return of Iranian hostages. The American public is not particularly furious that Iran took hostages nor that Obama paid ransom for them.
The anti-technology movement – "ecology," "environmentalism," "conservationism" – is fading rapidly. Remember "Spaceship Earth," "the limits to growth," and "man's rape of the earth"?
That movement is alive and well today. It has massive influence in both government policy and the culture. It has created international agreements. It has killed our soldiers by convincing our military to use worse equipment to be more "green." It has become disrespectable to doubt global warming.
Observe what the left has been unable to achieve. The drive for socialized medicine is stalled. The move to break up the oil companies has been abandoned.
Socialized medicine and the destruction of the oil companies are real dangers today. Those are Obama policies and he achieved a lot. Thankfully Trump favors fossil fuels and has promised to repeal Obamacare.
The best sign of the times is, perhaps, the disappearance of avowedly liberal political leaders. The very term "liberal" has become a stigma, politically.
That's sure gotten worse.
For the first time since the beginning of the New Deal, there are some areas in which the government's power is being rolled back. The gains made by the left have been due to inertia; the left is on the defensive – and they have plenty to feel defensive about.
The left hasn't been on the defensive lately. The main sign of hope here is Trump's victory. But Trump will not be rolling back the government's power much, if at all. Nor will the Republican congress which contains many leftist sympathizers, RINOs, moderates, and career politicians.
In America, there was never any chance that the statists would take over.
Obama and Hillary are statists. Today there is at least a clear chance of statists taking over.
Trump has promised to freeze most federal government hiring and require two regulations be repealed for each new one added. But on the whole he isn't a very good advocate of limited government.
Do the American people, today, really want limited Government? I don't think the majority do.
The economic and political state to which the intellectuals have brought this country is so horrendously counter to the American spirit
The American spirit is in danger. Far too many Americans now identify with its enemies like Obama and Hillary. Far too many Americans have been educated in "progressive" schools. Far too many "Americans" are foreigners, here legally or illegally, who have not adopted American values and do not possess the American spirit.
After every anti-American statement and action by Obama, his policies nearly got a third term. Our culture is in grave danger. Anti-Americanism is everywhere. Western Europe is even further gone down a similar road and provides some dire warnings.
The American pro-reason, pro-freedom, pro-achievement "sense of life" has swung away angrily from the consequences of even semi-statism.
Something like that won us this election, but only barely, and despite the opposition of many Objectivists.
the moral code of altruism will carry us to statism, regardless of short-term backpedalling. Our only hope is finally, fully to reject the premise that sacrifice is moral, and proudly assert man's right to exist for his own sake.
Altruism hasn't gone anywhere. That "only hope" hasn't happened.
At the dawn of the 80's, the left has collapsed, and the right is waiting to be born.
Any collapse of the left was only temporary. The left is strong today. It dominates the media, the government agencies, the public schools, the universities, the non-profits, the technology companies, and the "intellectual" culture.
The left riots in the streets, releases criminals from prison, and says the statement "all lives matter" is racist. The left gets away with ridiculous farces like saying voter ID requirements are racist. The left has given billions of dollars to the leading state sponsor of terrorism and is working to help arm them with nuclear weapons capable of hitting the USA. The left uses the IRS to attack political enemies and uses the FBI and justice department to help cover up their crimes. The left has betrayed our country repeatedly (e.g. leaving Iraq and letting ISIS become a major power) and has the power and influence to get away with all this. (Or they nearly did. We'll have to see what Trump does about this.)
The article the quotes are from is The Swing To The Right by Harry Binswanger. In 1980 he said the 60's left never had much power in America. Today he says the left in the 60s was worse than today. Does he think that Obama had no real power, or that Obama isn't so bad!?
Thus, for example, where I would have chosen the headline: "Illegal Alien Convicted of Incest, Child Rape," The Chattanooga (Tenn.) Times Free Press went with the less catchy: "Man guilty in case of human smuggling.”
And where I would have used the headline, "Illegal Alien Repeatedly Raped 14-year-old Girl at Job Site," The Commercial Dispatch in Columbus, Mississippi, went with the more subtle, "Columbus resident charged with molestation.”
Our hearts and prayers are with the loved ones of the victims of today’s horrifying terror attack in Berlin. Innocent civilians were murdered in the streets as they prepared to celebrate the Christmas holiday. ISIS and other Islamist terrorists continually slaughter Christians in their communities and places of worship as part of their global jihad. These terrorists and their regional and worldwide networks must be eradicated from the face of the earth, a mission we will carry out with all freedom-loving partners.
I wrote a CNN-style version of Trump's statement:
Our hearts and prayers are with the loved ones of the victims of today’s horrifying truck crash in Berlin. Innocent pedestrians died in the streets adjacent to the crash as they prepared to celebrate the Christmas holiday. Drunk and other bad drivers continually slaughter motorists and pedestrians in their communities and this needs to change. These unsafe drivers and their memes must be educated to drive safely, a mission we will carry out with all safety-loving partners.
He said "indeed" to a tweet insulting children. Most people would do that, but in the past DD wouldn't have. He was good about ageism.
He said "indeed" to a tweet no one considers literally true.
He said "indeed" to an exaggerated, ageist, unserious, unintellectual claim that Trump is clueless and incompetent. (Also file that under unoriginal!)
He likes Obama more than Trump. (Previously we found out he likes Hillary more than Trump.)
He says "yes" that Putin is "the worst dictator" which is false.
DD says "yes" that Trump is "befriending" Putin. That's false. Trump is – as he should – having a working relationship with a person his job requires him to work with. Work relationships are different than friendships. Suggesting that Trump is personal friends with Putin is a lazy smear.
From Obama's worst policies, DD excludes: Obamacare, supporting Iran, supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, supporting Cuba, open borders, appointing activist leftist judges, and losing the Iraq war. That's just a small start on what Obama did wrong.
DD not only claims that Trump will pursue all Obama's worst policies, but that Trump is even worse at all of them than Obama. This is unfair to Trump by ignoring many terrible Obama policies where Trump is way better. And it's false because Trump is better on every listed policy than Obama. Trump is going to be more financially irresponsible than Obama? Really? I read Trump's tax plan, among other things, and I don't see it. I await DD's considered argument for this claim and the others. But DD doesn't explain serious arguments anymore, he tweets.
DD has become an apologist for Obama and the left. DD speaks imprecisely and participates in superficial commentary. DD no longer cares much about ageism.
I follow DD's tweets and this quality is typical. He used to be a much better thinker.
Update: Here's a second example of low quality DD tweets. From someone else it'd just be expected that they are confused about AI, persons, animals, etc, all of that. But DD used to be good at these things. And he used to be my peer. But these tweets aren't in my league or up to DD's former standards of thinking.
My quick thoughts on Trump's missile attack on the Syrian airbase which Assad launched a despicable chemical weapons attack from:
Trump's attack was a pretty moderate, normal, mainstream thing to do.
It was OK, not great.
It's not what Trump said he'd do. E.g. in 2013 Trump wrote a bunch of tweets about staying out of Syria.
I'd prefer if Trump focused on his campaign promises more – destroy ISIS, get out of the Iran deal, build the wall, repeal Obamacare, and move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. None of those issues are going very well so far.
There's a selective attention issue. Why is this the right conflict to intervene in instead of a different one?
Trump and others haven't explained the self-interest of the attack in a clear, convincing way. What are the big-picture goals we're hoping to achieve by intervening? Spending $75,000,000 to help a few foreigners in the short term is bad policy which is contrary to the purpose of the US government and the purpose of our taxes.
Most people believe military actions should be proportional. That's wrong. They should involve whatever force is necessary for effective defense and resolving the problem.
It's bad to get drawn into back-and-forth tit-for-tat conflicts with only minor escalations. Ongoing fighting is awful. Instead, take little or no action until you're ready to go all-out and win. Trump's strike isn't anything like a last warning or second-to-last warning. It was just a response and Trump has threatened to do more small responses if Assad behaves badly again. That's a bad approach. (But note also that it's a moderate, mainstream approach. I'm the one who is out of the mainstream in my views here.)
If you're going to get involved in military conflict at all, there should be a plan to win in a fast, brutal, one-sided, non-proportional manner which is either pursued immediately or else threatened and ready. If you're just bluffing and have no plan for winning, stay out of it.
When you see violent thugs rioting in the streets, you may assume they're strong, scary zealots. They claim to care deeply about strongly-held political views. They present themselves as being so inspired and motivated that they're willing to fight for their ideals.
I want you to reconsider. Most of them are ignorant victims. They are abused and controlled by a few leaders (aka "community organizers"). Just like how cults control, indoctrinate and abuse people. Most of the violent thugs are actually weak, pathetic wretches with no money, no control over their lives, and no idea what's going on. They're sad victims to be pitied, not strong zealots to be feared.
Violence is a serious matter and the police need to provide protection and arrest rioters. Don't walk up to these people for a chat; they're dangerous. But do change your perspective on them.
Yvette Felarca & BAMN
Yvette Felarca is a leader in a left-wing, American, political cult called By Any Means Necessary (BAMN). They use violence for political purposes. They indoctrinate and abuse children. They're Marxists. They've been in the news recently for violently shutting down speeches by conservatives.
BAMN was created in 1995 by Attorney Shanta Driver, in Berkeley, California, in order to oppose Proposition 209. Proposition 209 ultimately ended affirmative action in the state's university system. Affirmative action is racist – it's literally about treating people differently according to their race – so BAMN is a racist group. More about BAMN.
Riots and Violence
BAMN participated in violent riots that shut down Milo Yiannopoulos's talk at Berkeley earlier this year, and Felarca defended the riots on TV! She said rioting was necessary to shut down Milo, who she victim-blamed as a fascist. She defined fascist as "someone who’s organizing a mass movement that’s attacking women, immigrants, black people, other minority groups in a movement of genocide." Milo hasn't called for killing anybody. Felarca is a liar who wanted violence first (to suppress ideas she hates) and made up an excuse second. BAMN's violence also led to suppressing the free speech of Ann Coulter and David Horowitz, and the students who invited them, at Berkeley.
Felarca has a history of personally participating in violence. She attacked a man and incited others to attack him at a gathering of white nationalists called the Traditionalist Workers Party in Sacramento in June 2016. That violence left seven people stabbed and nine hospitalized. A California Highway Patrol officer said Felarca's group started the violence, “If I had to say who started it and who didn’t, I’d say the permitted group didn’t start it." A statement from the California Highway Patrol agreed, saying that the Traditionalist Workers Party had obtained a permit and that "non-permitted groups confronted the permitted group, leading to violence."
And this violence is all part of a conscious strategy of, in Felarca's own words, building a "mass militant" movement.
A Danger to Children
This would all be bad enough if Felarca was a full time communist activist working for George Soros. But she's actually a teacher at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School in Berkeley. She uses her position of authority over children to recruit for BAMN during school. She pushes her political agenda when she's supposed to be teaching.
And BAMN isn't just a group of violent communists (that'd be bad enough!). It's worse. It's a cult which abuses children. BAMN lures children to join (including directly from public school) and uses intimidation, threats and force against its own members to prevent them from leaving. It has dozens of dirty tactics including lying to get people psychiatrically institutionalized when they try to leave BAMN and placing guards on people to prevent them from leaving.
There are numerous testimonials regarding BAMN's cult-like operation and recruiting methods. Secret Survivors of BAMN is a blog where people who escaped discuss their trauma and how the cult operates. They made it private after BAMN's recent rioting drew attention, but a copy remains publicly available.
I'll present three testimonials so you can judge for yourself what BAMN is really like and whether the police should shut them down:
Jevon (PDF mirror) is a UC Berkeley Alumni. He was recruited into BAMN at age 14 and then pressured to leave his family (in Detroit) and live with BAMN members in Oakland. BAMN said he could get legally emancipated soon after and rejoin his family if he wanted to. But after he arrived in Oakland to live with Yvette Felarca, Jevon was instructed to change his name and cut off all contact with friends, family, and even other BAMN members in Detroit. (Isolating people and cutting them off from their old life helps cults control them.)
Jevon wound up being told he could go home after some time had passed, but the time to return home never came, a charade that continued for almost a year. Eventually he reconciled with his family and his mother bought him a plane ticket back to Detroit. But cults don't let members just walk out the door:
When they realized they could not talk me out of leaving, they got physical. Yvette Felarca came into my room one night and instructed me to read out loud a statement that Shanta Driver had written and convinced me to sign about how my family was abusive. Tired of debating my decision with them, I refused. That night, Yvette and other BAMN members took turns sleeping by my bed to “make sure he doesn’t go anywhere.” They confiscated my house keys to restrict my movement.
While trying to make his flight, BAMN members tried to take away his suitcase. Then three cultists assaulted him to grab his phone to prevent him from arranging to leave. Jevon fought off the assault enough for his mom to hear what was going on over the phone, and she called the police. BAMN lied to the police who were then hostile to Jevon. He eventually managed to talk the police into letting him leave after BAMN stole all his money and ID cards.
With the help of a neighbor Jevon made it to the airport and escaped. BAMN still did what it could to punish him for leaving the cult:
When I tried to inform other BAMN members about what had happened to me, particularly other youth many of whom I had recruited and therefore felt responsible for putting at risk, I learned that BAMN had denounced me to everyone. They told people that I had went crazy and turned against the organization and went to the police and that everyone should call off all contact with me. They were also instructed to report my whereabouts to Shanta because they were looking for me to put me in a mental institution.
From talking with people afterwards, Jevon learned that BAMN had treated other people in a similar way to his own nightmare experience.
Alex From Detroit's Testimonial
Alex from Detroit gives an account (PDF mirror) of her experiences with BAMN. She was manipulated by her girlfriend who threatened to dump her if she wasn't in BAMN's inner circle. And she tells us about BAMN's recruiting methods:
So they start out luring kids with field trips and the chance to skip classes for meetings. When I was at [Cass Technical High School] they had a very strong presence because Steve Conn was one of the math teachers and most of their student leadership came directly from Cass. The kids who are just in it for ditching school are [used] mostly as bodies and extra mass during the rallies and protests. They could care less what happens to these kids but the more numbers they have on their side the better the protests look to the media.
School teachers exploit their captive audience to recruit for BAMN. Children come to meetings to get out of school. What kind of system is that? Teachers shouldn't be encouraging kids to cut class and attend Marxist cult meetings instead. And then they use bored, powerless students as extra bodies at political rallies and protests which they sometimes turn violent!
Alex explains how involvement escalates as children are pressured to do more and more BAMN activities:
If you are not just in it for ditching school and had actual political leanings, they invited us to after school meetings where we would discuss current group events or if there was a particular rally, protest or election coming up we would do things to contribute to that, such as making signs and calling people who had signed petitions with their contact information. Here again, is where I specifically was pressured into doing things that made me uncomfortable. I do not like talking on the phone. I can talk to family members and I have, after years of doing it, been able to be comfortable talking at work. I used to have extreme anxiety about it. I expressed this very clearly to my ex and to the leaders of BAMN but was given the impression that there would be consequences if I didn’t ie: Being ejected from BAMN’s inner circle which would lead to being dumped.
It's cruel to make Alex work the phones when she could have easily done a different task instead. But uncomfortable, stressed, anxious people are easier to control. BAMN wanted to keep Alex off-balance.
Alex also describes being pressured to attend events even when she didn't know what she was protesting or why. In one city council meeting, Alex read a new Harry Potter book and only looked up or chanted when another BAMN member elbowed her.
At a political debate, Alex didn't know what she was protesting. Her mom asked her but she couldn't answer. She was "instructed to come along to the protest, hold a sign, chant something and walk in a circle within a specific radius outside of [the protest location]. There was no other information given."
Interestingly, BAMN seems to recognize the ignorance of its members. BAMN's own pledge says:
To those who criticize the legitimacy of our walkouts or other youth-led mass actions by saying “most of the students/youth cannot even say what they are fighting for”, I say rest assured we are always fighting for our dignity, equality, respect and justice.
So the kids don't learn anything at school from their BAMN teachers who tell them to cut class for BAMN, and then they don't learn anything at BAMN either!
Jason reports members being publicly condemned for their private romantic problems, and then engaging in "Maoist self-criticism" where they talk about the struggles of revolutionary consciousness under capitalism and profusely apologize to the group for their private behavior.
What happens if you privately question any RWL decisions, such as kicking someone out because he didn't want to financially support a jobless RWL member? Shanta Driver "began shrieking" that Jason was a racist (the person kicked out was white, the person to be financially supported was black).
Being denounced as a racist by a cult leader had consequences:
The experience had a somewhat scarring effect on me in that it showed a number of comrades, already [possessing] a certain appetite for Stalinist style [bureaucratism], that I was fair game for criticism in the leaderships eyes. As such my political life was for several months very difficult in Albany. Sarah W. and Yvette F. were continually denouncing me for one thing or another and I was held at [candidate] membership for an extended period of time.
RWL did not care about Jason's health or well being. People are easier to control while in extreme poverty and dependent on the cult for shelter and food:
While formally enrolled in college I neither attended classes nor worked. The RWL did not have many paid staffers, nonetheless I was subsidized (in an extremely minimal manner) by the organization in order so that I could work for the org. full time. I was constantly broke, without money for books or an adequate diet, couch surfing at various comrades apartments.
Later, RWL lied to have Jason involuntarily held at a psychiatric facility in order to prevent him from dissenting at an upcoming meeting. Jason explains:
I was horrified, I never felt so trapped against my will.
the RWL, in ordering comrades to undergo treatment, is utilizing a form of [bourgeois] medical process to marginalize inactive or oppositional cadre and isolate them from the party. This is horrible.
Cults don't allow dissent.
When Jason and his girlfriend decided to leave the cult, he was in a such a powerless situation that they had difficulty with basic matters like bus fare and packing luggage.
The RWL must have sensed [something] was amiss [...] From that moment on we were never left alone together.
They actually risked packing luggage to leave while being watched by a spy who, thankfully, didn't rat them out.
Felarca Indoctrinates Students
The Berkeley Unified School District has catalogued allegations against Felarca going back to 2009 which it detailed to Felarca in a 30-page letter. These included "immoral conduct, evident unfitness for service, persistent violation of or refusal to obey school laws, dishonesty, unprofessional conduct and unsatisfactory performance." Berkeley Unified School District's complaints include:
In 2009, Felarca "repeatedly solicited students to participate in protests" against a proposed charter school during the work day, in defiance of a formal reprimand.
In 2011, she asked for permission to take an after-school club on an all-day field trip to protest against Proposition 209, and was told she couldn't because it would be a chance for her to "indoctrinate" students and violate what she'd been told in 2009 regarding non-permitted activities.
In 2013, Felarca repeatedly used leave to attend immigrant rights marches in Washington, D.C., which is not a permissible purpose for leave. They docked her pay and told her to stop, but she kept doing it. When they tried to have a private meeting with her, “employees in the District office were confronted with a loud group of over ten young people … chanting and carrying signs” protesting “teacher harassment.” Felarca refused to answer how the students knew about the meeting.
Felarca wrote a celebratory Facebook post that the District was backing down on discipline and "encouraged supporters to sign a petition that called Felarca a hero and role model, and said she should be allowed to use personal leave at her discretion."
The District said “it was evident that you and your [By Any Means Necessary] representatives were actively trying to brainwash and manipulate these young people to serve your own selfish interests in not being held accountable to the same rules that apply to everyone else. As a teacher, your conduct was particularly reprehensible.” [Emphasis added.]
In 2014, Felarca allegedly misused her leave again, protesting UC regents and participating in Black Lives Matter demonstrations. She then lied and claimed she had no recollection of these events, despite the fact that:
[Felarca] had taken two full days off work to attend, had spoken during public comment [as documented on YouTube], had a large bullhorn in [her] hand outside and spoke to a large group of students, and passionately and loudly advocated for [her] cause; and despite the fact that [she] clearly wanted the attention and media coverage. [Felarca's] continued and repeated claims, frequently accompanied by long pauses and a smirk on [her] face, that [she] could not recall being there, were patently dishonest.
In 2015, Felarca requested permission to take students to immigration court for the hearing of a woman seeking asylum, and didn't disclose BAMN's involvement in the case. Felarca's request was denied, but she went anyways and was interviewed on TV during the event.
The District also claims that a parent contacted them and said Felarca had “marginalized Caucasian students” in her classroom and presented controversial issues in a biased manner.
After all this and her Sacramento violence, Felarca finally was put on leave in September of 2016.
What was Felarca's reaction to being put on leave? She followed her previous pattern of weaponizing her students and other supporters against the administration in a high-pressure campaign.
At an October 5, 2016 meeting of the Berkeley School Board, various Felarca supporters spoke out, with some making references to Felarca teaching them their "rights" as immigrants as they were cheered on by the crowd. One particularly troubling scene makes clear how much this was an organized political action and not a spontaneous outpouring of support from students. A young boy appears to be directed to read a statement by a woman wearing a BAMN t-shirt. In the course of the statement, he says "That's not fair, that the District don't let Yvette bring kids to protest." A young girl speaks immediately after (with the BAMN minder still present), repeating the same theme and saying "It's not fair what you guys are doing, because Ms. Felarca deserves to take kids out to protest on her free time" and concluded her statement by bashing President Trump. Observe that this defense of Felarca is the very behavior the District had been asking her to stop since 2009 (that is, taking students to political protests).
The October 5 meeting ultimately descended into chaos when protestors started shouting & chanting when the Board attempted to move to the next agenda item.
Felarca also filed a lawsuit against the District in October, claiming that "BUSD had interrogated her students, removed her from a staff meeting, and threatened to withhold funding, for longstanding programs, from colleagues who expressed support for her." And Shanta Driver filed a lawsuit on behalf of 8 students against the District in November "alleging [the students] were racially targeted and intimidated by district officials."
Felarca was ultimately reinstated on November 2, 2016. One might reasonably think this a result of Felarca's high pressure tactics and the use of her students as weapons against the BUSD. But it may be more because Felarca has friends in high places: the Mayor of Berkeley, Jesse Arreguin, is a member of BAMN's Facebook group and Facebook friends with Felarca.
It's disturbing that Felarca still has a job as a school teacher after all this violence, indoctrination of children, and refusal to do what her employer asks.
A Sad Story of Victims
Members of BAMN and other "anti-fascist" organizations present themselves as zealots so committed to their political cause that they're willing to use violence.
But the reality is different. We've seen that many members are children abused by the BAMN cult. People join to skip school classes or get lured away from their family and aren't allowed to leave. Children are tricked by authority figures like their teachers. Many are victims, not zealots.
And then BAMN uses criminal tactics to prevent members from leaving: violence, guards, lying to members, lying to the police, and lying to psychiatrists. As well as pressure, psychological manipulation, denunciations, etc...
This is a monstrous evil. The cult leaders should go to jail. But the victims actually could use rescuing.
BAMN's leaders are violent criminals who are a lot better at exploiting children than understanding politics and economics. They should be prosecuted and shut down.
The bulk of BAMN's membership are abuse victims who would benefit from learning American values and the American way of life. They're not protesting because they disagree with society – they never learned how to be part of society in the first place.
Next time you see an anti-free-speech riot, remember it's just a facade. Behind the mask of strong, violent zealots are weak, pathetic sheep. They may be able to throw a few rocks and start fires but, as usual, evil is impotent.
Correction: The article mistakenly said Alex is male. Alex contacted me with a correction and I changed the gender pronouns on 2018-10-26.
What is with people who don't like things to be "politicized"? Do you not want people you tribally dislike to say reasonable things because then you'll have to disagree with them because you were born with nothing but an amygdala for a brain?
EDIT: good point made in the comments, exploiting people's emotions to manipulate their political beliefs while they're in a less rational state is bad
i take it you're insulting right wingers including classical liberals who believe in freedom regarding the issue of gun control. i'd suggest being more clear about what your point is in the future.
I'd suggest being less paranoid, you're wrong about what I'm arguing
There's nothing in my post that needs clarification, people on the left get mad at the NRA for "politicizing" shootings too when they say less people would have died if one of the hostages was carrying a gun
do you have an example of that? for example, Hillary chose to politicize the shooting rather than accuse the NRA of politicizing. By contrast, I say many right wingers complaining about Hillary politicizing it.
Sure, let me find it. There was some hostage situation in recent years when people said open carry would have prevented it
Hold on, let's stick to the Vegas shooting and representative examples! I'm sure somewhere in history you'll find one example.
Not just open carry but also when refugees commit shootings the right politicizes it with immigration
Are you in favor of gun control or against it?
Can't find the hostage situation rn, do you disagree with the immigration point?
I'm not sure what to think about gun control
I agree that the right sometimes politicizes shootings, but in my understanding the dominant trend after the Vegas shooting – which is the context of your post – was the left politicizing it and the right criticizing the politicization. If I'm mistaken because I didn't see a broad enough sample of political messaging, I'd appreciate the correction. If you saw it similarly, then wasn't your post a reaction to some right winger comments?
It was caused by me seeing right winger comments and seeing a problem with the "don't politicize" part of the argument, not the "gun control has downsides" part
views on gun control are relevant here. e.g. consider Hillary's pivot to bringing up silencers. was that relevant and reasonable, or just unreasonably trying to use the tragedy in an unrelated way? people who have knowledge about silencers and gun rights are going to have a different perspective on Hillary's comments than someone who is neutral. Part of their reaction – which you took issue with – was due to knowledge of the issues, not tribalism and amygdalae.
Hunters want suppressors to prevent damage to their ears and their dogs' ears, and to be better able to hear each other and prevent dangerous hunting miscommunications. That's what Hillary pivoted to the tragedy to.
A reasonable response would be to call Hillary Clinton dishonest, because her comments were an attempt to shoehorn an unrelated agenda where it didn't fit and mislead the public. The discussion is ready to go straight into the mud. But do we want a bunch of mud slinging and character attacks and typical political dirty fighting to be the centerpiece of the national discussion of the Vegas tragedy? As much as I'm personally pretty willing to debate anything, I do see why people could object to this!
and the reason some people don't want a bunch of murder to be politicized is because of their respect for life and human dignity.
What about politics inherently lacks respect for that
many political discussions aren't respectful of the gravity of mass murder, as i'm sure you've observed
Is that because they're political?
Partly, yes. Some types of discussions are more known for human decency than others.
The only political discussions which lack respect for life and dignity are the ones with bad political arguments
Any solution to this issue is going to be one of policy, so even if politics causes irrationality in humans, our other choice is having murder problems which don't seem less important than irrationality
"The only political discussions which lack respect for life and dignity are the ones with bad political arguments"
So, most of them? Do you see the problem?
No one is objecting to debating the issues at some point, and trying to make the discussions civil. But there are questions about the apporpriate immediate comments from public figures. Should they prioritize attempting a dirty political sound byte, or perhaps is it better to begin by saying something about their respect for human life and how sad they are about the tragedy, and then try to debate gun control issues in the normal ways afterwards?
The better explanation is irrationality, not politics
"Don't politicize" is a problematic criterion, and we have a better criterion, "don't be irrational"
People debate what is irrational or not. Being more specific is good sometimes.
Of course it's a problematic criterion. They aren't having extensive serious discussions with both sides engaging with each other. It's not a very intellectual forum.
A better criterion would be "don't politicize too soon after tragedies", but even that creates problems that aren't clearly improvements, because people lose political motivation after tragedies
that's roughly what lots of them meant, though the issue isn't entirely a matter of time. part of the issue is what you say in the time before the political debate. and your actual attitudes, not just statements.
and btw they primarily meant for the anti-politicization comments to apply to public figures, and people participating in the hashtags/slogans/yelling kind of politics, not discussions on serious debating forums.
I saw a formulation of don't politicize idea from a right-winger (FYI Elliot, it was Tracinski) that just said wait 72 hours after tragedy. very modest standard but people couldn't even come close to that
some major voices on the left are really eager to proclaim that they know the solution to tragedies like this. some major voices on the right disagree, and think they have better solutions, but are more willing to try to set that disagreement aside briefly to have some unity in mourning.
can we pray together and try to think things over for a few days before we go back to squabbling over the same bitter disagreement we've been fighting about for decades?
^ I think that's a reasonable attitude.
can we, in the wake of the tragedy, use it as a reminder that we're on the same side, instead of using it as leverage to be divisive?
unfortunately i honestly don't think Hillary Clinton is on the same side as the rest of us. but i can sympathize with people who take the above kind of attitude, and i think most of the left are reasonably decent people.
If I were president I'd cancel most of the meetings, travel, etc, etc, and make some forums which are publicly readable.
There'd be a forum where all the countries have an account with write access. And one where all US politicians have write access. And one with a lot of media and intellectuals.
I think forum discussions are actually the best thing the US president could do.
Imagine if all the politicians, media personalities, etc., with bad ideas had to actually write about them on the record on a daily basis? Imagine if you just kept following up on discussions. What would they do? What most people do currently with me is just stop responding to things, which they can get away with socially because I have low prestige. But just refusing to answer forever wouldn't be a viable answer to the president's forum, and arguments/questions from the president and his staff. That'd look really bad to the world: Nancy Pelosi has been asked the same question for 5 days in a row and just won't answer at all.
But if they did answer they'd get pinned down.
They'd have to do evasive tactics: missing the point, playing dumb, trying to create confusion, saying unclear things, trying to make the discussion go in circles, etc. All that stuff can be called out, pointed out, and basically made to look as foolish as it is. People get away with that stuff in verbal formats with little followup, and behind closed doors, but not against the best debaters over a period of weeks with every word of it in the record. None of the bad guys have any method of dealing with that level of intellectual scrutiny.
They can lie, but the lies can be documented and the canonical links documenting lies can be repetitively posted every single time a lie is repeated. Staff can be hired to do that. That would cost a hell of a lot less than a wide variety of current, unimportant government departments. It's very easy by government standards.
And how do you deal with media questions? Press briefings are so incomplete that it's hard for people to see who's right and why. What if all the bullshit the press kept bugging Trump about was on a forum where some staff members replied with canonical links over and over so everything was getting answered? How would the media continue to ignore the main points, which they currently ignore, if it was being linked in reply to them every time they talked?
If we're bad at assimilation, then immigration is dangerous.
If we're good at assimilation, given modern communications technology, we should be able to assimilate people living in other countries. They can learn English and Western values online. They can access our books, TV, radio and online or mail-based educational courses from their own countries.
Therefore I propose the following immigration policy: only let in immigrants who already assimilated before immigrating.
There's no need to let in unassimilated immigrants and then try to assimilate them after they're here and hope it works.
Assimilation has a failure rate. If we assimilate them in their home countries, the failures can stay there instead of already being here. And even with a low success rate, we can still assimilate a larger number of people than we actually want to bring here (we can still pick and choose the best ones).
If you want to come here, prove it first by assimilating yourself remotely.
What if someone doesn't have access to the internet, or there is some other obstacle, so they don't have the opportunity to assimilate? Too bad. Life isn't fair. Our immigration policy should benefit our country by only taking people who found a way to already be a good fit before coming here (there are enough of them that people without internet access are not our problem).
Also, the best thing we can do to help underprivileged foreigners is to spread Western values to the whole world. We should be making it clear that Western values – the ones that originated with the Greeks, then the Romans, then the Western Europeans – are the only ones that bring peace and prosperity. Other countries can help their own underprivileged by adopting capitalism and limited government, by favoring economic and personal freedom, and by having a government which protects men from violence instead of violently oppressing its people.
There are a lot of people in the world. They can't all come here. Foreign countries need to improve. That's the only way to help everyone.
The U.S. needs to improve as well. It's in real danger from anti-Western ideas that have gained popularity internally. Bringing in more people who don't have Western values is making that problem worse. That problem is threatening to destroy the most civilized country, which is the best able to lead others to freedom and prosperity. It's in the interest of all men of good will, in all countries, that America remains a free and prosperous country that is capable of sharing good ideas with others.
America should be spreading its values to other countries, not bringing other values here. Sadly, a lot of the problem is that America is currently exporting anti-American values. The "intellectuals", media and "cultural elites" are predominantly anti-American. But thanks to the internet, anyone can help, regardless of where they live, by learning English and studying the ideas that made America great in the first place, and then communicating, explaining and teaching those ideas. The world needs fighters for ideas – the American ideas that came from Europe that came from Rome that came from Greece. Those ideas about reason and liberty are the only civilized ideas the world has ever known.
Also, immigrants are no threat to a free country. Immigrants with other values become a problem when the government meddles in men's lives, restricts liberty, fails to protect law and order, and redistributes wealth. Help fight the intellectual battle to save the U.S. from the authoritarian ideas of a giant, all-controlling government and we could then be in a position to reasonably (instead of suicidally) consider a more generous immigration policy.
Blizzard banned some US college Hearthstone players from competitions for 6 months after they held up a sign reading "FREE HONG KONG, BOYCOTT BLIZZ”. They did this on purpose, as a statement, after Blizzard banned a Hong Kong Hearthstone player for a year, and made him forfeit like 10k of prize money, for a pro Hong Kong statement, and also fired the two casters involved.
Blizzard wasn’t sure what to do at first and delayed a decision, but has now decided that it does want to punish Americans for their political speech in America that is in agreement with American values in general. It’s not even offensive speech in America, it’s just offensive to foreign communists.
Blizzard’s justification for the bans is:
a general rule that states the company can punish players for “engaging in any act that, in Blizzard’s sole discretion, brings you into public disrepute, offends a portion or group of the public, or otherwise damages Blizzard image.”
This is an extremely generic, subjective rule. One can’t predict in advance what will be punished or how much it will be punished. A government with laws like this would be an oppressive tyranny. This is rule of man, not rule of law.
Update: This page has become a place to post cancel culture examples, including e.g. mandatory PC training at your job. It's not strictly limited to deplatforming examples.
Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Patreon, PayPal and other companies have repeatedly advertised that they are politically-neutral open platforms. All are welcome. They’re for everybody. This fraud violates existing free-market-compatible laws, as I'll discuss below.
Then they ban, moderate, demonetize and censor people, and bias search algorithms, for a variety of biased reasons, including especially to persecute right wing political ideas. I’ll call this general issue “deplatforming”. It’s about not letting certain non-favored persons/ideas use the platforms in the standard, (allegedly) publicly-available way.
For those unfamiliar with or doubtful of the relevant facts, I’ve included an information section below.
The public debate over this issue has two main sides.
First, most of the left is cheering as their enemies are attacked.
Second, most of the right, along with some people on the left with greater integrity, say that free speech is important, tech companies are an important part of modern life, and we need government regulations to make things fair.
A third, smaller group are free market advocates say private companies should be able to do whatever they want, even if it’s politically biased, and the government should leave them alone. They often say this despite having right wing ideas themselves. They say it despite being part of the oppressed group.
What’s missing is a pro-free-market, anti-deplatforming group. That’s my position. It’s important that the free market is compatible with solving the deplatforming problem. This isn’t a failure of capitalism. Anyone who cares about freedom and classical liberalism should be interested in how it can address a problem like this; don't assume minimal government and capitalism are inadequate.
As a free market advocate, many people expect me to say that private companies can do whatever they want and the government should stay out of it. I think deplatforming is a horrible problem, but don’t my principles require me to accept it?
I find most free market people insufficiently regretful regarding their support of deplatforming. They don’t say how horrible it is, and they wish there was anything to be done about it, but their hands are tied. They don’t seem to mind much. I think many have some partial leftist sympathies.
There’s a better way to view the issue. There’s something bad going on. I dislike it. And most of the proposed solutions are statist. So then what? Give up? No! The first thing to do is consider free-market-compatible solutions. Classical liberalism is a sophisticated, nuanced political philosophy which should be able to deal with problems like this. Can it? No one seems to have checked.
In the free market, the initiation of force is prohibited. This includes threat of force and includes fraud. False advertising is fraud. Advertising being a neutral platform, while not being one, is fraud. These companies should be sued. We don’t need new regulations. We need the most basic legal protections that would also exist in a minarchist society (minimal government society, aka nightwatchman state).
These companies don’t follow the rules in their own Terms of Service. That’s fraud. They are telling the public the rules are one way, but acting a different way.
Why are companies flagrantly violating the law and no one seems to notice and they aren’t losing all their profits to lawsuits? Because they have special government privileges. They’re being protected from being accountable under the law. They aren’t fully private companies. They hire tons of political staffers and lobbyists. They have friends in high places. They have political pull and receive favors. They aren’t operating in a free market context. Rather than making new laws to control these companies, we need to abolish special privileges granted by the government to a favored elite.
People tell right wingers to make their own competing sites. If you don’t like these companies, beat them in the free market. There are a few problems with this. First, having a larger user base is a huge advantage in social media. People want to be on the sites their friends are on. And why do these companies have such a head start? Because they fraudulently lied about their political neutrality so people didn’t see the need to compete with them earlier on. Second, they are still lying today which reduces the interest in alternative sites. If they openly said they’re biased against Trump voters, more people would recognize the bias and switch to a new competitor. But they still lie to their users. And third, there’s the banking problem.
The worst problem related to deplatforming is not access to social media platforms for sharing ideas. It’s access to the financial system. You can make your own blog or other website to speak your mind (deplatforming by domain registrars, webhosts, etc., has begun but isn’t very bad yet). But what if you’re being prevented from selling your work online? What if your fans can’t donate money to support you? What if you can’t sell merch? How can you compete in the free market if you don’t have the ability to participate in the market online?
The banks and credit card companies are highly government regulated. And they have pressured sites like Patreon and PayPal to deplatform right wingers. And when Gab tried to build a Twitter competitor, they found it very difficult to get any banking partners. Patreon competitors have also had huge difficulties getting banking access to enable their users to send money online to fund content creators. For most types of business, getting banking is easy. Banks and payment processors compete for your business. They want to be widely used. But right wing people online are being treated differently by financial companies which are considerably more government-controlled or government-influenced than Facebook or Google is.
My position is that I wish we had a free market. A free market would solve this problem because there would be serious consequences for fraud. We aren’t even close to a free market. Free market advocates tend to recognize this fact in general. They recognize e.g. that the U.S. healthcare market (including before Obamacare) is not even close to free market, capitalist healthcare. They recognize how involved the government is in the universities. But with deplatforming, the government’s role seems to be widely overlooked.
The main takeaway here is simple but widely ignored. Given the facts about the situation (which most people don’t know much about), Google, YouTube, Twitter and so on are guilty of blatant, massive and ongoing fraud. We don’t need new laws or regulations, we need to enforce the most basic and capitalism-compatible laws.
For those who haven’t been following the public information about deplatforming much, here are some examples:
Domain registrars promised that I could “own” my little corner of the web with a domain name, and now my domains can be seized by a faceless bureaucracy. Google told me to create the best content I could to be ranked highly in their search engine, but then they manipulated their algorithms to lift dull corporate propaganda above my own. Twitter promised that I could share any thought that came to mind, and after I spent years doing so, they changed their mind and will now ban me if I make fun of an obese feminist. YouTube said I could upload engaging videos that viewers love, and even make money doing so, but then they demonetized most of my videos, put others in “limited state,” and banned me from live streaming for three months because I asked if women who wear chokers want to be treated subserviently. Disqus offered me a service to allow the community at Return Of Kings to discuss what was on their mind, but they banned the site because they didn’t want us to discuss certain things. Amazon said I could publish books on their platform and even make a living as a writer, but then they banned the paperbook and ebook editions of nine of my books with no explanation why. Paypal said it would be easy to add payment processing to my site, and then later showed how easy it is to ban me for political reasons.
Borderless video had delayed processing, then was taken down, on YouTube.
Facebook deleted a Paul Joseph Watson post consisting of the single word “honk” because it referenced a right wing political meme.
Koch Brothers Team Up With George Soros, Patreon and Airbnb to Fight Online Extremism (fighting online extremism is code for deplatforming).
Pinterest whistleblower told Project Veritas about their political bias. Then YouTube deleted the video after it had a million views. One consequence is that the link to the video in my email newsletter archives, which can’t be edited, is now broken.
Vdare article with non-classical-liberal tech censorship response.
I commented on fraud and deplatforming on the House of Sunny podcast.
Wikipedia has biased editing, e.g. an example related to Jeffrey Epstein.
A gaming channel got banned at a million followers on YouTube and had to start over.
Links to collections of examples of Google and Facebook censorship.
Cloudflare deplatformed 8chan.
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell got suspended from Twitter for sharing a video showing people making violent threats against him
Owen Benjamin has been deplatformed by YouTube and others.
Games Done Quick speedrun marathon deplatforms people for MAGA hats.
This is just a small sampling of deplatforming info. There’s far more. Post more in the comments below. I’ve posted, as the first comment, a list of deplatforming related links that Justin Mallone gathered earlier this year.
As a followup to my post on Deplatforming and Fraud, I’m going to share two examples of other frauds which were supported by large tech companies (Airbnb, Apple) but aren’t related to deplatforming. I think this will help people better understand what fraud is and that our society has inadequate mechanisms for dealing with fraud.
So, a journalist runs into scammers listing places to stay on Airbnb. They defraud her and she has to stay in a hotel. Full article. Then:
When I asked about the status of my refund, [the scammers] ghosted, which led me to contact Airbnb. Though I had been moved to a flophouse and then told to leave early, Airbnb only refunded me $399 of my $1,221.20, and only did so after I badgered a number of case managers over the course of several days. The $399 didn’t even include the service fees Airbnb charged me for the pleasure of being thrown out on the street.
Airbnb is a party to fraud. It should have been easy to get a full refund. They are protecting and profiting off fraud. Their policies aid fraud. They are playing the middleman and substantially siding with blatant fraud.
Why doesn't she chargeback the whole thing on her credit card? I think the reason is simply that Airbnb would blacklist her as punishment for getting her money back in case of fraud. Without Airbnb in the middle, putting effort into it, the fraud couldn't succeed.
Why doesn't she sue Airbnb? That'd be quite hard. Should it be hard? No. They are blatantly a party to blatant fraud.
In a more capitalist world, with a better legal system that better protected individuals against fraud, stuff like this wouldn't happen. Airbnb would predictably get sued and lose, repeatedly, until they stopped participating in fraud. The people suing would find it adequately cheap and easy, and their payouts would more than cover their legal fees and the hassle, leaving them better off than if they hadn't sued.
We in the USA live in an over-regulated world with too many laws covering everything, and people can get in legal trouble over dumb stuff. But at the same time, we also live in an under-regulated world where there's too little law and order. The basic elements of a minimal government which protects against violence, threat of violence, and fraud, are not actually functioning very well. (Mainly the issue is for fraud. I think our protections against violence, while imperfect, work reasonably well.)
The article shares specifics of Airbnb's unreasonable actions supporting fraud in this case and in many other cases.
This one is my own story from a couple months ago. I made some in-app purchases in the mobile game Archero, by Habby, from Apple's app store. A few days later, Archero had major technical problems. Although it's a single player game, it requires an internet connection to communicate with their servers for anti-cheat reasons. Their servers were unstable and frequently down. It was frustrating to try to use the game because it was broken so much. I stopped playing. I waited a few weeks and expected the problem to be fixed. It wasn't, and I eventually moved on to playing a different game.
About a month after their game was broken, Archero sent out an in-game message to all players (or maybe just US players, I don't know what's going on in other regions) saying sorry for the technical problems, they are now fixed, here's a couple dollars worth of in-game currency as an apology. Over the next month, Archero sent out four more similar messages, each claiming they had now fixed the problem. I know it wasn’t actually fixed for two months but I’ve stopped checking. Maybe the fifth announcement that they’d fixed it was finally true instead of lying. Their subreddit has lots of complaints and memes about the ongoing problems. I observed the problem on multiple devices and with multiple internet connections, and many other people also had the same issue.
After it wasn’t fixed for several weeks, I contacted Apple and asked for a refund since I hadn't gotten to actually use what I paid for. They told me to contact Habby for customer support. I did. I waited over a week. There was no response at all.
I followed up with Apple and they told me they wouldn't give me a refund. I asked why. I got a non-answer. I asked why again. Non-answer. I asked why again, for the third time. Apple escalated my case to a supervisor on their own initiative. The supervisor did not say why I was ineligible for a refund and told me the case was now closed, final answer. I asked why again and also asked what would happen if I did a credit card chargeback. Apple responded to the allegedly closed case with a non-answer that still didn't tell me what their refund criteria are, what aspect of my case disqualified me for a refund, nor what their chargeback policy is. I asked again about a chargeback and received no response from Apple. This is ridiculous, unfair, and dissimilar to refund policies I experience with major companies in general. It violates my reasonable expectations, based on Apple’s advertising (including all public communications like their website and support documentation), of what sort of customer service would be available (that means Apple’s advertising/public-communication is fraudulent).
I did not chargeback Apple with my credit card for fear that they would punish me, e.g. lock my iCloud account or block me from future App store purchases. Those outcomes would be far worse for me than losing the money.
So Habby got my money by fraud. The only reason they kept it was because Apple played middleman and took their side. Apple was a party to fraud. I think Apple getting in the way of refunds is a significant part of what a lot of shadier app developers are paying for when they give Apple a 30% cut.
If all refunds for Archero have to go through Apple, then it’s Apple’s responsibility to know about Archero’s server problems. Apple won’t investigate the details of particular games, even though they are in charge of dealing with monetary transactions about those games, and Apple tells me to contact Habby for support, but it’s Apple controlling refunds and therefore Apple who needs to deal with it. If Apple’s policy was “developer offered no support and ignored customer, so we’ll issue a refund” it’d be OK, but Apple will refuse refunds when developers have broken apps and completely ignore customers.
Of course, having technical problems with your game servers isn't fraud in and of itself. But they advertised that I could play the game and I could buy things and use them to play the game. They failed to live up to that. So they should give me a refund since I didn't get what I paid for. Refusing the refund makes it fraud. They didn’t provide what I paid for and didn’t give me my money back. The combination is breach of contract and fraud. It’s fraud by Habby because they deceived me into believing they would honor their (implied, unwritten) contract with me that I’d get to experience certain gameplay in return for the payments. It’s fraud by Apple because they deceive the public by pretending to have civilized, law-and-order-compatible dispute resolution mechanisms for their app store, but they don’t. Habby also commited fraud by continuing selling the game throughout their technical problems with no warnings or disclaimers.
FYI Archero is a popular game which has been promoted by Apple and Pewdiepie. Some article says Archero earned $8,500,000 revenue in its first month alone. There are other articles with large numbers too. Either most customers are satisfied and they could refund the justifiably unsatisfied customers and still have a large profit. Or, in the alternative, they got a large portion of their millions of dollars by fraudulently tricking customers into thinking they’d get a gaming experience that they would not get.
Bonus Apple Story
One more quick story about Apple. Over 10 years ago I bought an Apple laptop, with Applecare, along with an Apple Cinema Display. Their website advertised that the Applecare for the computer would also apply to the display without having to separately purchase Applecare for the display. The display broke after the standard warranty but within the Applecare period. Apple refused to repair my display. They said the special deal only applied to desktop computers (or some set of computers that didn’t include the one I’d bought). I had records showing their website had advertised that the deal did apply for the computer I bought. That had apparently been an error. Over the phone, Apple absolutely refused to fix their error and repair my display. I talked to multiple people, escalated it, was assertive, had proof, and was refused service.
The money was a big deal to me back then. I wrote a letter to Apple complaining about the incident (and documenting again that I was correct), on paper, and mailed it to them. Apple responded to the letter by solving the problem for me and repairing the display. People should be aware that writing letters can get problems solved.
I’m not going to send a letter this time (I didn’t even phone in either, which would be too much hassle, I interacted with Apple over email about Archero). It’s significantly less money at a time when I have significantly more money, so it’s not that big a deal to me. I have better things to do. And the case is less clear cut. It involves a third party who didn't make specific guarantees, in writing, about the availability of their game – whereas Apple had literally posted, in writing, on their own website, a specific offer regarding the display purchase. And Apple is a bigger company now, with more unreasonable, evasive support people, and I’m not confident that a letter would solve the problem.
The Airbnb scammers are blatant criminals who can only get away with it due to Airbnb’s support. I doubt Habby are knowingly criminals on purpose. I doubt they think of it that way. But they’re committing some fraud that they can only get away with because of Apple’s support.
Our legal system makes it too hard to hold Airbnb or Apple accountable, which enables ongoing violations of basic capitalist law and order to continue. This is similar to how there is ongoing fraud by tech companies related to deplatforming, which they are getting away with, but could not get away with in a classical liberal society which had fewer laws but actually enforced the most important laws (that we have too, but don’t enforce well enough), in particular laws about fraud and following contracts.
I think it’s especially gross when standard mechanisms for solving these problems, like chargebacks, are prevented because of a company like Apple or Airbnb playing middleman for fraud, so it’s not possible to directly chargeback the company you have a problem with. (Credit card companies in my experience, and by reputation, are very customer-friendly, and it’s easy to get your money back over stuff like this. They basically demand that merchants keep customers satisfied. But Airbnb is sheltering scammers from that demand and Apple is sheltering Habby from it.)
We need a legal system that makes it easier to successfully do small lawsuits for fraud, with meaningful punitive damages. E.g. $10,000 punitive damages on $100 actual damages, plus legal costs, would add up after many lawsuits and would give individuals the incentive to sue. When many individuals sue over fraud like this, as should be fairly easy to do in a reasonable legal system, companies will change. Similarly it shouldn't be that hard to sue e.g. Facebook if they delete one of my posts or groups on their website contrary to their advertised non-politically-biased policies or terms of service.
Most of the protestors/rioters are ignorant dupes being lied to by people and groups like CNN, Soros, AOC, NYT, and their teachers and professors. The people who run BLM are racist, Marxist liars who are trained (by people like Alinsky and his followers) to lie because the only goal is the revolution and the power to achieve it.
The typical protestor/rioter doesn't know anything and is being exploited by leftist oppressors who are taking advantage of them and don't care about their best interests. They don't care about improving policing and improving the lives of blacks in the inner cities; they are the elites responsible for those problems (these are Democrat-run cities with problems like Democrat-supported police unions and teachers unions that prevent reforms and prevent firing bad cops and teachers).
The foot soldiers in this assault on law and order are largely young people who have been misled by mainstream authorities their whole lives. And they've been forced to go to school and be immersed in highly pressuring social hierarchies there. They bear some guilt and responsibility for their actions, but they are not the enemy. The top level leaders and true believers are the enemy, which are only a small part of the uprising. We must stop the rebellion against civilization but also find some kindness and forgiveness in ourselves to help reintegrate the fools back into civilized society.
See my article on how antifa is a cult which uses abusive tactics to "recruit" and control members. And see the Discover the Networks article on antifa.
One of the many issues with the protest/riot leaders, and many of the followers, is that they don't believe in God. They don't believe in a higher power, truth or law above themselves (some sort of objective truth of physical and moral reality doesn't adequately serve this role for them either). They are arrogant and think their own reason should rule the world. They overestimate their wisdom and knowledge like the French revolutionaries.
I say this as an atheist. Atheism is dangerous. It's one example of the more broadly dangerous mindset of the revolutionary who thinks he's wiser than the traditions of his society.
If you're going to be an atheist or seek large change, you ought to actually read books, study, learn, debate, etc. Want to rely on your own reason? Develop it yourself. Don't just trust professors and other authorities.
No, learn more than that. You haven't done enough. People do so little and call it being educated and think they're done. And they're so intolerant of disagreement, debate, and being questioned.
Tell you what. If you think you learned enough to believe a bunch of radical athiest outlier beliefs, give an overview of what you did to learn it in the comments below and I'll ask you a some questions to check for holes in your studying.
Or stick to common sense and traditional values and beliefs just like your religious neighbors, and then being an atheist isn't such a big deal. Which traditions? The ones that built America (and more broadly Western civilization starting with the Greeks) and made it great.
Suppose hypothetically that approximately all parents are child abusers. And you're a political leader. You can't just arrest the all the child abusers or take all their kids away because who is gonna raise the kids instead? The foster parents or social workers or orphanages are no better – they too are part of the same culture that mistreats children. You can only realistically target the bottom couple percent of bad parents, that way if you get those kids to be raised by even 20th percentile quality parents it's a significant upgrade.
In principle, you think child abuse is unacceptable. Parents must not e.g. hit their children. Physical violence violates the children's right and is abuse. But if 99% of parents hit their children, there isn't much you can do about it besides trying to educate people. You can share better ideas with books, articles, lectures, etc.
So although something is unacceptable in principle, if too many people are doing it wrong, it's hard to take direct action to fix or change it. For lots of practical purposes, you can't have standards for society that 99% of people (or even 30% of people) can't meet. You can't arrest 99% of 30% of the population or sue them all into oblivion or whatever. You can only do that to small outlier groups, not to the mainstream, or you're just creating a civil war.
It's similar with the rioters/protestors today. There are too many. It's too popular. Yes they are crossing lines into initiation of force. In a better world they'd be stopped so that I could safely walk along any public street in the country with a MAGA hat and speak my mind. But arresting or otherwise forcibly controlling so many misbehaving people is unrealistic in this world.
One potential solution is to arrest and punish a small fraction of them as examples. If you have really draconian punishments for a few of them at random, maybe you can scare the rest into stopping. This is kinda like how armies used to hang a few deserters to discourage other people from deserting. There were armies where over 50% of the soldiers would like to go home and stop fighting, but harsh enforcement against a few people was scary enough to keep the rest in line. I don't like this strategy with suing a few people for sharing music and movies online, and I don't like it with the protestors/rioters either. It's harsh and unfair to some unlucky people who get made examples of. It's mean and it alienates the people it intimidates into obedience. It doesn't seek to actually get them on our team/side.
Another potential solution is to only punish the much smaller group of leaders and true believers, not the masses of mostly-ignorant (but not totally innocent) dupes and fools. This seems to me like roughly what should happen. And punish people who cross major lines (that not many people cross) like severely beating someone up.
But if we mostly aren't punishing the rioters/protestors, then what do we do when they are causing trouble? How do we get them to stop? Maybe they'd listen to reason more if we had better explainers and teachers as political and cultural leaders, but we don't. The good guys here aren't all that wise and are contributing to the problem too.
So that's hard. The protests/riots are too mainstream and widespread, they're too big a part of society. And to make things harder, the opposition is wrong and flawed in lots of ways (but the opposition is more civilized and better at not being a puppet of uncivilized causes).
Are there things wrong with police policies? Yes. Does racism exist? Yes. But the protestors don't know what the flaws with police policy are or what changes should be made. And it isn't being explained to them very well either. They don't even know who is in charge of the police. It's the leftists they voted for who are behind lots of the problems. They're yelling at the wrong people. But not many are trying to share key info and talk about e.g. the role of unions in not firing bad cops. And the mainstream media puppet masters are sharing misinformation and they have so much control over communication channels that it's hard to speak to the protestors/rioters and give them better info.
The protestors/rioters broadly seem to assume if they demand stuff vigorously enough then it'll happen. What's the premise? That people are just being bad on purpose. That they could do better and refuse and just need to be pressured.
The protestors/rioters are broadly ignorant of how hard it is to run a police department or government better. They have no idea how to do better and haven't really thought about it. They assume that good policies are easy to come by and the issue are motivation, bias, tribalism, etc., not facts, logic, paperwork, etc.
They are looking at this as a social issue about a clash between different social groups each pursuing own agenda (the agenda is thought of as greed and self-interest for their opponents, but disinterested altruism and kindness for themselves). They aren't looking at it as problems of logistics, scheduling, budget management, writing good training curriculums, communicating better with the public about what laws and policies make sense, and so on.
They think the reason things aren't better is the people with high social status and power don't care about the people with low social status. So they just have to circumvent regular social climbing by forming a mob and exerting strong pressure to get their demands heard. They just have to be pushy so they can't be snubbed anymore.
They have no idea that organizing a society is hard to do as well as we're currently doing it, let alone better. They are contributing ~nothing to rational reforms and aren't trying to and have no idea that better ideas are needed. They aren't trying to read books like Bureaucracy. They aren't trying to study statistics to better understand crime rates and their correlations to e.g. race or income. They aren't trying to consider downsides of proposed new policing policies and how to figure out new policies that will actually work without breaking a bunch of stuff that works now. They don't understand the difficulties police face and don't care to. And they certainly aren't studying unions as a major force that blocks reforms.
It's hard to do great but we could do somewhat better pretty easily if so many of the protestors themselves, and their (partials) fans/allies, would stop voting in bad people over and over. They have no idea what the sources of problems actually are, nor which of the problems they see in the world are real (some are!) or imaginary (some are this too!). They just blame capitalism and racism.
The protestors/rioters are less popular and mainstream than they think they are.
It's partly because, just like most people, they tend to interact with people similar to themselves.
But it's more than that. They scare people into not voicing dissent. The left in general suppresses disagreement enough that some people won't speak openly to pollsters, let alone to lefty coworkers/friends/party-goers/social-circle-members, let alone to the sort of lefties who'd join a BLM protest/riot. We saw this with Trump losing in the polls but winning the election. We also see it in China where most people say they support the CCP but if they had safe, secret ballots they'd vote the CCP out.
Hanson chose to be an icon and leader. Giving in is a betrayal of his followers, fans and values. It signals that you can't succeed by standing up for truth and free speech. He's discouraging them. He took on a responsibility and failed at it.
He was some sort of role model. He knew it and wanted to be. And that's why he was targeted. And then, with little fuss, RIP.
At the same time, Scott Alexander stood up to the NYT. Though, interestingly, Alexander wasn't even given the option to apologize and recant.
They gave Alexander the options fight back or not fight back, and be attacked either way using the same weapon (dox him by printing his name).
I saw something recently, forget where, about a revolution long ago, I think somewhere in China. I don't know if it's a true story or just designed to make a point. Was like:
What's the penalty for being late? Death.
What's the penalty for a revolution? Death.
So then they revolted cuz it's the same penalty anyway.
Did Hanson naively think that his job would always be safe when he criticized mainstream ideas? Did he think he lived in a society with free speech and tolerance of intellectual diversity? Or just that his particular university was especially great? I doubt it.
He ought to have known a confrontation was possible. If he wasn't prepared for the confrontation, what the hell was he doing? If his plan was to give in, he misled his readers about that.
Hanson is trying to proceed with blogging like nothing happened, without any explanation to his readers (other than the official apology, which doesn't explain it – a real explanation would be e.g. "they threatened my job, and i wanted to keep it, so i spoke out against the cause". That particular explanation would raise some questions before he was accepted back as an advocate and leader of the cause. If he has a better one, let's hear it. If he's muzzled, and can be threatened into not saying whatever the university leaders choose, then can we trust anything he blogs to be his real opinion?).
I was not much of Hanson fan anyway, but he's one of the symbols we have ... well had. I don't know of a bunch of better ones.
People should not accept him back. Don't act like this didn't happen. He's clearly compromised and there is no plan or strategy in place to enable his free and honest speech going forward. There are problems here which Hanson is trying to ignore instead of present solutions to. He's doing no post mortem. He's making no plan to be more successful next time. He's presumably just decided on a bunch of things he's no longer willing to say publicly, and he's hiding the list from his audience. And I doubt it's even a list, in writing, or that he has any policies to ensure he consistently follows his plan. He may well behave inconsistently and get in trouble more, or refrain from saying things that aren't on the list, or both, and there's no transparency.
This question is directed to people who think gender matters for behavior and mental capabilities. Similar questions could be asked about race and other traits.
Suppose that gender is a social construct. Suppose that gendered behavior is due to just culture, not a mix of culture and genes. Suppose that women are born with equal mental capabilities to men.
If you conceded all that, what would you change your mind about, if anything? Why?
I ask this because a lot of effort is spent denying that gender is a social construct. Many right wing people are quite hostile to the social construct theory and view it as dangerous. But what negative consequences do they think it implies?
I interpret people as thinking something like "If the left was correct that gender is a social construct, then a lot of their political philosophy would be correct, and I'd have to change my mind about a bunch of stuff." I am doubtful of this and don't see that the social construct theory implies much leftist political philosophy.
If gender is a social construct, that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Social constructs exist and matter. They can't be instantly or trivially changed or gotten rid of. Culture and memes are important.
This issue is complicated by biological differences between the genders for e.g. muscles. Men are stronger on average. The difference is significant. Reasonable people don't deny that. Try to focus your answer on basically intellectual differences, personality differences, behavior differences, mental differences, etc., which are the things that might be cultural.
Note that the anti social construct view claims that genes influence gendered mental traits, but do not fully determine them. They think a mix of biology and culture leads to gendered traits. They don't claim it's all biology. The social construct view, by contrast, denies the role of biology. It rejects the mixed factors view in favor of a single dominant factor.
For people who think gender is a social construct, I have similar question: What (classical) liberal ideas do you think that contradicts, if any?
This post will clarify a few of my ideas that people have concerns or misunderstandings about.
Freedom and Capitalism
I want a small government with limited power. The proper function of government is protect people against force – e.g. military, cops, courts. I want a society with tons of freedom including economic freedom (which is what “capitalism” actually means). See my essay liberalism. I’m not necessarily opposed to all anarchist ideas (though most are awful), but I think we should aim for minimal government and try that for a while before thinking we know in advance what further reforms would be a good idea.
I respect thinkers like Ludwig von Mises and Ayn Rand. I do not respect lots of their followers or the people commonly associated with them (e.g. I disagree with Hayek, Rothbard, most libertarians and most Objectivists). I also disagree with most Republicans and most Democrats.
In general I like individual thinkers, not groups.
I think political philosophy and economics are more important than politics. By politics I mean stuff like current events, news and election issues. Current political issues include abortion, gun control, immigration, racism, feminism, rent control, tax policy, government-run healthcare and environmentalist policies. People should learn how to think effectively about general principles before trying to debate those specific controversies.
People are partially right to complain about corporations and Wall Street. Many of their arguments are incorrect, but there is shady, unfair, exploitive stuff going on. But the problem is mostly government involvement in the economy and lack of economic freedom. For example, the main source of monopolies is government laws that make it harder to compete with existing companies, e.g. by increasing barriers to entry.
I like Donald Trump better than Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden. I think Trump has moderate political views and likes America. I disagree with his protectionist economic ideas (like tariffs and trade wars), though I do agree with his intuition that there’s some problem related to trade with China and that some sort of action should be taken. I think Trump screwed up by hiring a bunch of establishment Republicans and he handled coronavirus badly.
I appreciate that Trump is somewhat, partially challenging the ruling elite class of journalists, media pundits, unelected political influencers, professors, politicized non-profits, lobbyists, bankers, administrators and bureaucrats. Most politicians in both parties are part of that elite which is oppressing and ripping off the American people (the middle and lower classes, and the wealthy people without friends in high places).
Most people bring a tribalist, follower mindset to politics. They cheer for their team, just like sports. They’re super biased. They don’t understand the other side(s) very well. They don’t rationally study or debate the issues.
This doesn’t mean each tribe is equally right or wrong. Currently, I agree with Republicans more than Democrats. That’s despite being an atheist and growing up in a Democrat family in a heavily Democrat area. I do disagree with lots of Republican ideas.
Immigration has been used for decades to try to dilute Western civilization by bringing in people who think in other ways and have other values. Western countries have been doing a bad job of standing up for their values and assimilating immigrants. There are ongoing debates about whether Western values are worth standing up for. While this debate is ongoing, I think immigration should be slowed way down. I don’t think bringing in immigrants who agree with you, and vote for your tribe, is a legitimate way to resolve a debate.
I don’t think white people have a monopoly on Western values. I don’t think genetics are destiny. I know many other people who criticize immigration are racist in some way (that doesn’t merit all the tribalist hatred they’re receiving, which often comes from people who are even more racist). They think there are race-related IQ genes and that there is such thing as a biological “human nature” which is controlled by genes and therefore can vary by race. I have a strong “left wing” position – shared by right winger Ayn Rand – that ideas and culture are what matter, not biology. (On a related note, I think gender roles are socially constructed, but I don’t believe some of the other ideas commonly associated with that claim. While males and females biologically differ in some physical characteristics, I don’t think biology is the cause of observed mental differences like personality traits or math success.)
I disagree with many economic arguments against immigration. In a capitalist society, immigrants don’t drive down wages. That’s because, as the workforce gets larger and wages go down, it’s easier to start a business (because you can hire employees more cheaply), so more businesses get started, which pushes wages back up. However, currently US regulations are hostile to starting new businesses. When it’s a huge burden to start a business and hire people, then immigration can drive wages down. But “they took our jobs” is a bad argument.
I think the USA should screen immigrants better. Instead of letting so many immigrants in by lottery or extended family ties (including birthright citizenship granted to babies born here by tourists), I think immigrants should be admitted more based on having American values and being ready and able to do productive work. Although I think IQ tests (and the concept of IQ itself) are highly flawed and culturally biased, I think they’d be better than nothing for an immigration screening method. English language proficiency tests would also help.
I’m opposed to identity politics. I think we should stop looking at people’s skin color, rather than doing affirmative action or having race-based groups like “Black Lives Matter”. I want a more color blind approach.
I do not think racism, sexism, homophobia, white privilege, etc., are solved issues. There are significant problems there (by both Democrats and Republicans). The current activism – like riots and cancel culture – is making things worse and is making it harder to reform anything.
In 1994, the alt.seduction.fast (ASF) discussion group was started on Usenet. Some people there figured out some good ideas about how dating and social dynamics work. Of course some people there were dumb, too. Representatives of that group, which I respect, include:
It was a discussion community. Many people participated productively and there are archives of ideas people liked, e.g. Classic PUA Writings. Many of them also went out and met people in person. They weren’t just armchair philosophers.
The ASF people aren’t perfect but I think they have some genuine knowledge. They managed to analyze, describe and understand social dynamics in ways that other groups haven’t. This information is useful for all members of our culture, male or female, in order to better understand the unwritten rules of our society. And although the ASF focus relates to dating, many of the social dynamics principles apply to other social situations too.
Other so-called pickup artists vary. Some learned a lot from the ASF crowd or participated in those discussions. Others didn’t and are usually clueless. Some of the ASF knowledge has spread elsewhere but it’s often mixed up with bad ideas too. The “red pill”, “mgtow (men going their own way)”, “MRA (men’s rights advocates)” and “manosphere” groups often have some ASF knowledge mixed in along with some of their own bad ideas.
Because so many fakers try to sell their pickup artist advice (advice that doesn’t work and is often offensive), the ASF people pretty much stopped using the terms “pickup artist” and “PUA”. I’ve been using the term “PUA” anyway but I’ll consider calling them the ASF community or specifying individuals in order to reduce confusion.
Claims about how our culture works are not claims that it should be that way. I’m not in favor of social climbing, promiscuity or pandering to whatever other people want. I’m also against lying to or tricking women (or anyone). The ASF people, contrary to some of the attacks on them, are more anti-lying than the typical person.
There are no senior members of FI who have been around a while (years), learned FI well, and who make good role models. Don’t try to copy anyone or assume they’re good and you should try to be like them.
I don’t endorse anyone’s learning behavior, and I certainly don’t endorse their lecturing behavior. Some newer members have potential (and older members could change) but none have established themselves as doing a great job.
Don’t try to copy me either. That will lead to cargo culting. You have to learn things yourself and follow your own judgment. I’m too different in too many ways. You should expect to misunderstand me a lot, not to be able to do what you think I do and have it work in your own life situation.
Being a Discord moderator is not an endorsement of someone’s ideas. Being in a video with me or having a guest post on curi.us is not an endorsement of a person in general.
On a related note, I think everyone but me should be posting anonymously. (Because of cancel culture. And by posting anonymously I mean use something that isn't your real name or connected to your real name.) I’d prefer to be anonymous myself. I think it’s way too late for me to change (and maybe too hard to stay anonymous when e.g. selling stuff, meeting people IRL, and developing a reputation as a public intellectual) but everyone else should go anonymous. What’s the benefit of using your real name?
I’m going to stop posting on Twitter in general. Most of what I posted was just retweets without me writing anything. I dislike Upvotes and Likes in general (pointless) but I found retweets ok (shows stuff to my friends/fans) and tried them for a while. Retweets were not endorsements. I never treated Twitter like a discussion forum or serious place. I will continue to read Twitter because I like a few people there. I’m going to stop retweeting because Twitter has an awful, tribalist political culture which I don’t want to contribute to. Plus Twitter shadowbanned me and is part of the cancel culture which is trying to suppress right wing speech.
I think FI people like Khaaan and Justin are tribalist tweeters who don’t understand the other side(s) of the debate well. That doesn’t stop them from being right or sharing good info over 50% of the time. But they ought to learn how to think rationally instead of doing so much politics. Even if they were going to do politics stuff, their approach is basically unproductive because they’re so biased for their tribe.
I’m not careful about what I say all the time. I don’t believe in political correctness. I think misunderstandings will happen whatever you do and it’s not worth the effort to walk on eggshells around everyone. Better if people mostly have thick skins rather than police their own speech.
If you dislike something I say, you can ask about it or criticize it. (Try to understand what it is before attacking it, please.) We might disagree. If so, I’ll have a thought-out position that you can hopefully respect, even if I didn’t explain it all upfront. I can’t preemptively explain everything I think every time I mention a topic. People can ask questions or read my writing to find out more.
I often disagree with all mainstream positions on a topic in some way. When disagreeing with one view, I don’t always communicate what I think about all the other positions. This leads to misunderstandings because people assume if you criticize one tribe then you must be part of an opposing tribe.
Lots of “jokes” reveal genuine racism or other bigotry. Speech is meaningful. I’m open to rational questions and criticism – I won’t just automatically dismiss issues as minor. But please try not to assume what I think and don’t begin the conversation in an adversarial way.
[Trevor Dillinger wrote:] You have no right to drunk-driving. Same with COVID-19 spreading.
Your comment would apply to the Chinese Communist Party, who knew they were spreading Covid 19.
No one should be virtually imprisoned in a “lockdown” without benefit even of probable cause to suspect that he might have the disease, let alone without a trial or even the existence of a law that he is alleged to have broken.
The proper response would be to avoid contact with people especially susceptible to the disease and for them to avoid contact with whoever might give it to them. That’s it. For the rest, the purpose of life is not to avoid giving Covid 19 to others or getting it from them.
I disagree with Reisman despite agreeing with lots of his principles and views. This post is me thinking out loud about coronavirus lockdowns vs. individual freedom to stay home or risk going out.
Guessing a Reisman view: If you live with someone and they go out, too bad. Don’t live with people you can’t coordinate risk taking with.
Guessing a Reisman view: If your commute and job aren’t safe enough, quit. If you didn’t save money, oops, too bad. Or maybe you can get your work to make changes (plastic screens, masks, sanitizer, fewer customers inside at once, etc.) and get a car instead of public transit.
This stuff, like I think Reisman wants, is awkward in a world where the government requires people to do various tasks in person. Like go to the DMV IRL. If the government keeps requiring that, while also being hands off about the pandemic, they’re risking people’s lives. Solution: instead of lockdowns the government cancels a lot of their red tape so fewer people need anything, and moves the rest online.
It’s awkward in a world where too many employers do the minimum required by the government. They’re used to being bossed around instead of taking initiative to make good policies. So if the government stops bossing people around we get chaos.
It’s awkward in a world where people pay taxes for public education and expect their kids to go to govt schools and then there’s a pandemic and if they want to be safe they may have to give up major resources they planned around having.
It’s awkward to tell people to quit their jobs to avoid pandemic risk in a world where you’re punished for quitting in some ways. Like you lose unemployment and severance benefits which you’d get if you were laid off (fired without doing anything wrong). But if you’re quitting cuz pandemic, that is an external problem outside your control, and you might actually deserve unemployment benefits.
We live in a world where hospitals can’t say “guys if you don’t wear masks we’re cancelling your health insurance and firing your as customers” or similar. The government has tons of laws requiring them to give care regardless instead of demanding their customers take appropriate steps to not get infected. They can’t just refuse ventilators to people who acted irresponsibly. In a better world, they could, so there’d be way more lockdown type pressures from non-government sources. Similarly, health insurance can’t offer discounts for low covid risk behaviors or raise prices for risk takers.
What if I want to stop going to the gym because of the lockdown, but I had signed up for a year long membership plan (as is typical at US gyms). I claim the gym is no longer providing the service I signed up for: safe workouts. The gym says: what!? we are still open like normal! The government is going to have to play a role in deciding stuff. Am I being overly risk averse and I’m still on the hook for gym dues, or am I being reasonable and the gym operating like normal is a bad idea? The government needs some kinda general policy about this, not “no comment”. That way, such things can be resolved by the courts in a consistent predictable way (not the chaotic choices of each individual judge or jury). And we want almost none of it to go to court in the first place, which would be very expensive and overload the system – but if the results are clear and predictable enough due to consistent, standard policies then people can follow that without needing their own individual court case.
You can’t disentangle the government from life overnight just because you like freedom and government pandemic policy is inconvenient and, in various ways, stupid.
Government does a ton to prevent new businesses and products. They regulate where you can create buildings, what buildings you can create, whether you’re allowed to run a business of a particular type, whether a product or service may be sold, the price at which it may be sold (e.g. anti-gouging laws), the many safety checks you must submit to, the vetoes you must give your neighbors in many cases, and much more. The government has stopped a large amount of hand sanitizer and mask production. One of the bottlenecks has been the stuff you add to alcohol to make it undrinkable (undrinkable alcohol is the main ingredient in hand sanitizer), which is needed because the government wants to have a bunch of extra rules and taxes related to drinkable alcohol. The FDA, CDC and others restrict new medicines, drugs, vaccines, virus tests, volunteering for treatments, experiments, uses of lab animals, uses of volunteer human patients, and so on. In that world, where free market response to covid is so limited by govt, it doesn’t make a ton of sense to also ask the govt to be hands off regarding covid. You could try to ask the govt to manage the medical response to covid but be hands off on freedom of travel and other activities by citizens, but i think that doesn’t make sense when those activities are medically relevant.
We live in the world where the govt doesn’t just watch as other actors handle everything. We don’t have other non-govt actors set up to properly evaluate a pandemic, communicate to the whole country about what to do, etc. The govt is bad at it too but they do have agencies and budgets that are meant to address this stuff. And it’s also a world where if the govt says “X is a bad idea” but leaves X legal, people assume the warnings are unserious. And that’s a generally reasonable assumption: the govt actually does ban all kinds of things they really think are bad, and gives all kinds of way way overly cautious warnings that are not backed up with actual rules. Plenty of way overly cautious stuff is backed by rules, so having no rules really signals no real danger. So leaving bars and restaurants and gyms free to operate as normal would communicate to the public that there’s no real danger.
This is similar to parents (govt) who punish their kids (citizens) over major and minor things, and sometimes over nothing or the parent’s error, and they have rules for all that stuff – if that is your general policy, then telling your kid “I think eating cyanide is a bad idea” while not making any rule or threatening any punishment would be irresponsible and communicate that eating it isn’t much of a big deal (because everything else that’s a big deal, and a lot more besides, gets rules and threats).
There are lots of things wrong with the govt but trying to change some specific policies in response to a pandemic is bad timing and planning. Public health policy to defend against ~3 million Americans dying of a disease is the wrong govt changes to start with and we should generally do more changing/reforming during calmer more normal times when it’s easier and there are fewer unusual factors making it hard to tell how successful the changes are.
The government coordinating mass action to protect millions from death is one of the last types of government functions we should be looking to get rid of, not one of the first.
It’s fine to give advice about govt pandemic policy and suggest e.g. that beaches should be left open since a lot of the spread happens indoors. The govt can be questioned and argued with and that’s no problem. That’s part of the existing system. It’s a different matter to suggest drastic changes to the powers and style of government and say any government control over the pandemic is illegitimate. Debating the right plan is fine; saying “I don’t really want to have a government except a few special cases, therefore we should get rid of our pandemic response” is unreasonable (terrible transition plan and not trying to engage with actual live political issues) and focusing just on saying that govt pandemic response violates freedom, without even connecting that to a broader abolishing of most govt functions – just special casing pandemic response as something to get rid of – is unreasonable.
The order of reforms matters in general. E.g. we’ll need welfare reforms before having fully open immigration. And we’ll need to stop subsidizing drug use before legalizing all the drugs. Although “legalize drugs; victimless crimes shouldn’t be crimes” sounds nice in various ways, it interacts badly with current policies about tax-funded rehab, needles, medical care for drug users, etc. (Or requiring everyone to buy health plans that cover preexisting conditions and don’t charge extra to drug users – that is a forcible subsidy from regular citizens to drug users.) Although “let anyone come here and work if they can afford a home” sounds nice, it’s a problem with rent control, tons of restrictions on building homes, minimum wage laws and other price controls on labor, tons of rules restricting starting businesses that could hire the new immigrants, as well as all the tax-funded welfare available to people who live here.
If the govt’s pandemic response was like “good luck guys and enjoy the freedom of not being oppressed by your govt” – but everything else about the govt stayed the same – it’d be awful. It’d be kinda like a parent who micromanages most of his kid’s life and then is hands off about one thing.
I’m in favor of tons of govt reform. I want a govt that does way less. But that needs to be done with general principles and broad plans. That ongoing project shouldn’t be especially connected to the pandemic besides using some pandemic response as examples of how badly the govt manages stuff. Minarchists and anarchists shouldn’t just demand total freedom about every individual issue that comes along, out of context, as a local optima. They should look at the bigger picture and figure out some good places to reform and focus on advocating that instead of wanting immediate pro-freedom changes to whatever political issue they’re looking at with no broader plan.
i wonder if reisman opposes the govt controlling its borders to protect citizens from coronavirus
should we have total internal freedom but travel ban china? or just let everyone in from anywhere – too bad for our citizens who are concerned about getting sick?
The proper response would be to avoid contact with people especially susceptible to the disease and for them to avoid contact with whoever might give it to them.
so, avoid contact with old ppl but do have contact with their grand kids, and also the old ppl should avoid contact with their own grand kids? or they should ask their grand kids to heavily social distance and stuff?
what about old people who live in a care home and don't want to die? how should they protect themselves? too bad for not having the foresight to choose a home with great pandemic policies? too bad for not remaining independent in their own home? is it ok for the government to ban elder care workers from working at multiple different homes? should the old people, some of whom have significant mental deterioration at this point, negotiate with their care homes to adopt good policies like firing any workers who won't avoid all other care homes? should they have arranged for family members or hired proxies to be prepared to negotiate such things on their behalf? we don't live in that world where such things are reasonably expected of people. we live in a world where the govt is expected to make some policies. today i think "you can't work IRL at multiple retirement homes during the pandemic" is a good rule that more jurisdictions should have, even though i can imagine a different society where a similar result would be achieved in a more freedom-friendly way.
and re people just quitting and staying home if they want to avoid risk. which most people aren't in a position to do. but anyway, what happens if all the ppl who do food work quit and stay home?
i rely on other ppl working. i want policies that let “essential” workers keep doing their jobs with a lot of added safety. if people working in food, medicine, infrastructure (like water, power cables, and internet cables) etc. were mass quitting, that'd be awful for everyone. but if they are told "you can quit or not quit; freedom! yay!" then a lot will quit and everyone will be fucked. what keeps more of them working is that other parts of society are actually trying to take action in regards to the pandemic, like wearing masks when entering grocery stores, and trying to social distance so they don't get and spread it. and that's partly people being reasonable and partly govt policy.
if you just have all the unreasonable people going around being risky and all the reasonable people staying home, even if they could somehow afford that, then you'd lose a lot of important workers without replacement. partly cuz they have training and skills and stuff (including reasonableness). partly because replacing lots of workers is hard. partly because there are lots of govt restrictions requiring credentials and safety training and stuff to do jobs or start new businesses to pick up slack when some existing businesses are understaffed.
On TikTok she said 526 hires in 6 years, which is around 1.7 per week, but Twitter said over 300 engineering hires, so let's focus only on that. Around one hire per week. From my understanding, that's really good. This may surprise people, but I think each hire might be worth $10,000+.
I've seen tech companies offer 10k just for a referral of someone to interview there who ends up getting hired, and that was years ago. And in her job, she would do more work than just referring people. And tech recruiters can charge amounts like 10% of first year of salary (paid by company not employee) for getting someone hired, which will be over 10k for tech positions at google.
So she did a great job but got fired instead of promoted. And I believe her about a lot of the specific ways Google was (not very) covertly discriminating and resisted her improvements.
I think maybe Google actually wanted her to find black and brown programmers who think and act like white graduates of Ivy League universities, so they are an easy cultural fit or "Googley".
Google is not (very) racist against skin color. They are cultural racists against black and brown culture. Why? Because they are elitist snobs (not just that). It's not about merit; it's about bigotry against the Other, which makes it essentially similar to racism, especially when it correlates with race.
I think Google is full of atheist former-WASPs who are partially rebelling against being a WASP (particularly by becoming an atheist). They're similar to WASPs in lots of ways. (WASP = white Anglo-Saxon Protestant, which is the kind of person you'd imagine being at country clubs, expensive private high schools, or Ivy universities.)
What about the many asians at Google? Some asians have learned to get into and fit in at top tier universities. They're better at acting WASPy than black or brown people are.
Google also brings in a bunch of H1B visa coders, e.g. Indians. I bet those people are treated differently and worse, but Google likes underpaying them. (H1B visas are a government subsidy to Google and other tech companies. US visas or citizenship are worth money and Google gets to give them out without paying the US government for that privilege. People accept lower salary offers to get into the US and then put up with worse treatment and not getting promotions or raises for five years or however long it takes before they can stay in the country without staying at that job. The system incentivizes and causes some abuse and exploitation of foreigners.)
Anyway, you don't have to look like a WASP anymore to be hired (though physical appearance, including skin color and hair, still matter to how you're treated), but Google prefers people who are thoroughly immersed in WASPy culture.
Google's atheism is actually an issue. Black and brown people believe in God at higher rates than Googley people, which increases culture-clash. Similarly, I think black people value family more on average (and in somewhat different ways than e.g. asians, it's not just an amount), so might be more interested in going home for dinner instead of working late. (I don't think that particular issue means they are worse workers overall. I don't think it means they're getting less work done. I think the culture of 10 hour work days is stupid and that programmers rarely get more than 5 productive hours of coding done in a day. People can't focus and think effectively all day long. Google likes to exploit people that it can trick into staying extra hours without extra pay – often expecting rewards that never materialize. But I don't think Google actually gains much from exploiting the naivety of some of its primarily younger workers because those extra hours aren't very productive.)
There are actual flaws in all cultures which can be criticized, and not all cultures are equal. But I think Google's approach qualifies as bigotry because it's not about merit. It's about who fits into your social group and who doesn't. It's about preferring people like you over people who are different. In other words, if you discriminate more by accent than by skin color, and the accents you favor are rare among black and brown people, then you're still basically a racist.