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Thoughts Online Magazine
Collected Articles on Culture & Politics
 
Inspiration
Most of the objections that I hear about Trump are imaginary - he's racist, he's homophobic, he's Islamophobic, and other projections from the empty imaginations of progressives. None of them are true about most of the people they are applied to, but they get used because the person using them believes that if you might disagree with them about something, you have to disagree with them about everything, and since they are not "racist, homophobic, Islamophobic", and you are everything they are not, all your denials are lies. The bad premise in this way of thinking has been enforced on them from the time before they would be expected to learn how to make arguments, so they accept that it is uncritically true.

The objections are then stated as a form of "health and safety" regulation, picked specifically because no argument is permitted on the premise that more health and safety is better. See prior paragraph for the problem. Precisely this premise is used by the EPA to ban useful chemicals: something might be wrong with them that they are too difficult to catch, so it must be banned.

The name for the bad mode of thinking here is "the precautionary principle", which see, with all sorts of horrific examples, after a simple internet search. On the page, only the US Chamber of Commerce bothers to make a rudimentary objection.

The relevance to Trump? Look at artists like Kanye West, who supports Trump without seeking the permission of either the arts or media companies who wish to use his work. Those who object are those who bring up the problems already dismissed justly as "imaginary" in the first paragraph of this article. They "feel unsafe" because they believe their feelings are beyond criticism. Their feelings, however, are not the basis for anyone else's action. As it should be.
Inspiration
In the weblog "The Subject Supposed to Know" (general anarchist leanings, and some interesting posts), comes a discussion of the psychology of leftism, using as its source TED KACZYNSKI (yes, I tried to spell "Unabomber" wrong twice and gave up before spellcheck helped, and then went for parens).

Proof:

The main thing that’s notable about all of this is that it can only exist by ignoring a major theme of the manifesto: fuck liberals.

After only five paragraphs, he’s already talking about “The Psychology of Modern Leftism.” It’s really worth quoting at length.


Though perhaps not here. You can look it up. Then you can wonder how little the descriptions have changed from the mid-90s when his manifesto was published -- and maybe from earlier in the 20 years of his terrorist activity.
Inspiration
Somewhat of a surprise to encounter while web surfing: a site called "Dissenting Leftism" (seen here), with many interesting points to ponder, including a reminiscence:


R.I.P. Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet deposed a law-defying Marxist President at the express and desperate invitation of the Chilean parliament. Allende had just burnt the electoral rolls so it wasn't hard to see what was coming. Pinochet pioneered the free-market reforms which Reagan and Thatcher later unleashed to world-changing effect. That he used far-Leftist methods to suppress far-Leftist violence is reasonable if not ideal. The Leftist view that they should have a monopoly of violence and that others should follow the law is a total absurdity which shows only that their hate overcomes their reason.

I've waited for a long time for someone to acknowledge that Chile under Allende would have been as big a human rights issue as Chile under Pinochet. Finally found someone who said it. I'm pleased.
11th-Dec-2018 09:23 am - Long past time to say
Inspiration
I am annoyed every time I read in the paper some utter idiot saying "lie-detector test". You'd think the fact that lie detector tests are as reliable as sacrifices to Cthulu would have gotten around by now (it was discussed publicly during the Watergate hearings in the early 1970's -- and no one has since established that they are of any use at all other than as a bluff by a policeman trying to elicit a confession.

Youtube has many videos on how to beat polygraphs. My friend Willie has only been asked to take one, and he showed up with a machete and a live chicken and a few candles -- when asked why, he said, "You invoke your god, I invoke mine. I'll just use this desk, here." He put the chicken on the desk, and over protests, held it in place as he got out the machete, and was chased from the room by an outraged administrator. His response to his boss? "You should pick calm, thoughtful people next time."

Further notes here.
9th-Dec-2018 07:58 pm - 'Nuff Said?
Inspiration
9th-Dec-2018 07:42 pm - Investigative Reporting Done Right
Inspiration
A good investigator asks questions, compares what people say they do and what they do in practice, and gets witnesses to the problem to talk.

Here is a good example, discussing the disparity between Title IX investigations as described by the administration and as applied to students.

Stanford University has “publicly misrepresented aspects of its own Title IX practices,” which give students greater protections in writing they they are given in practice.

The paper reviewed correspondence between Title IX staff and a lawyer for accused students, Bob Ottilie. It showed the university stopped parties in two proceedings from “gathering their own witness statements,” and in “at least” one case, didn’t let parties review “substantial information” that was redacted before a hearing.

“Both of these practices run contrary to Stanford’s public statements regarding the rights of students involved in Title IX cases,” the Daily says.

The documents contradict the statements of Stanford spokespeople going back to spring 2017, who insist the university only “discourages” students from getting their own witness statements.


Title IX has been criticized for some time for creating kangaroo courts which routinely violate student rights, and there are many court cases pointing this out at many colleges. Perhaps it's time to go back to the law?
8th-Dec-2018 04:47 pm - One too many times.
Inspiration
The most recent was at Liberty's Torch:

let’s presume that people don’t listen (and given just how much influence I don’t have–thank all the gods I’m not the only voice crying out about that–I would not be surprised). Suppose we get the violent insurrection that grew into civil war. And suppose one side finally won.

Now what?

Indeed. Have a few quotes from persons more widely respected than David and I:

Every revolutionary ends by becoming either an oppressor or a heretic. – Albert Camus
Revolutions have never lightened the burden of tyranny; they have only shifted it to another shoulder. – George Bernard Shaw

Revolutions, as long and bitter experience reveals, are apt to take their color from the regime they overthrow. – Richard Tawney

Those who have seized power, even for the noblest of motives soon persuade themselves that there are good reasons for not relinquishing it. This is particularly likely to happen if they believe themselves to represent some immensely important cause. They will feel that their opponents are ignorant and perverse; before long they will come to hate them...The important thing is to keep their power, not to use it as a means to an eventual paradise. And so what were means become ends, and the original ends are forgotten except on Sundays. – Bertrand Russell


Now, I seem to recall that George Washington, a highly respected revolutionary leader (and a man who kept an army of volunteers going) served as president twice -- and then didn't take another government position. He could have. He didn't have to stop at two. But he did.

If you want a more modern example, take General Augusto Pinochet, of Chile, who, in a considerably more dangerous move, nonetheless devolved power from himself after assuring himself that the Communists could not come back, despite the example from Communists and socialists throughout the third world that giving up power was, at minimum, a requirement for exile. Admittedly, Spain caused him some regret on that when they decided to arrest him in the hopes of a legally dubious revenge being theirs: but he nonetheless died in his beloved Chile, despite the effort.

You don't even need to be a successful revolutionary to accept that continuing the revolution you are in charge of is a mistake: General Robert E. Lee had the option of waging a guerrilla war against the Union after Appomattox, but did not.

While you can make the case that these were men of character (and the headwinds of that argument are such, now, that I doubt you would convince a seminar), they all had a point where they stopped, and gave up power. The quotes presented are, therefore, only a partial view of history, not an inevitability.
2nd-Dec-2018 05:38 pm - Twitter posts
Inspiration
I had one email about the twitter feed I had posted here, wondering why it hasn't been updated. And the reason is that Twitter has banned so many people that I used to read I'm not going to the site any more to react to what's on there, despite it being a bigger field of [poop] to react to. I think blogs are suddenly showing up in my reading time more because no one is silencing the individual voices. I can still catch them.

For those interested, it doesn't take long to assemble a bunch of quality blogs with a search engine and a little time winnowing. I haven't updated my blog list on this site in some time, so that may be due for a retry. One blog I'm reading seriously is not, technically, a blog, but a newsletter: The Woodpile Report which comes out periodically (generally weekly). Check it out! Read the margins! Look at the back issues!
19th-Nov-2018 12:00 pm - My tweets
Inspiration
  • Sun, 18:24: RT @KurtSchlichter: I have carefully examined my alleged privilege, and I have determined that every right, preference, advantage, edge, as…
10th-Nov-2018 12:00 pm - My tweets
Inspiration
  • Fri, 13:45: RT @RealTT2020: Michelle Obama explains, "Barack has lead by example. When we took our trip to Africa & visited his home country in Kenya..…
9th-Nov-2018 12:00 pm - My tweets
Inspiration
5th-Nov-2018 12:00 pm - My tweets
Inspiration
3rd-Nov-2018 12:00 pm - My tweets
Inspiration
  • Sat, 09:14: RT @chadfelixg: I wonder if any actual minority cultural groups ever get offended by Halloween costumes or if its 90% virtue signaling whit…
29th-Oct-2018 12:00 pm - My tweets
Inspiration
21st-Oct-2018 12:00 pm - My tweets
Inspiration
16th-Oct-2018 12:00 pm - My tweets
Inspiration
  • Tue, 07:57: RT @chadfelixg: The Left has adopted the palestinian model. Attack unprovoked until the people you attack fight back. Scream you are a vic…
11th-Oct-2018 12:00 pm - My tweets
Inspiration
  • Wed, 17:50: "If you're going through hell, keep going." --Winston Churchill
10th-Oct-2018 12:00 pm - My tweets
Inspiration
  • Tue, 16:13: RT @NolteNC: I hoped Trump would be a good president. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect him to be this good. 70 years old, worked…
  • Tue, 16:14: RT @chadfelixg: The Right needs to stop being polite and playing this 'Oh they're just protesting. Its their right. I'm not bothered.' when…
8th-Oct-2018 12:00 pm - My tweets
Inspiration
3rd-Oct-2018 12:00 pm - My tweets
Inspiration
1st-Oct-2018 12:00 pm - My tweets
Inspiration
1st-Oct-2018 09:39 am - This is going to be interesting.
Inspiration
Check out the proposal to create an internet connection where YOU manage the information, rather than having it stolen under the pretext of an agreement.

Would that make a difference in an age where only a few password hacks give the hacker a wealth of information from social media?

But note the catch: anonymity will once again be hard to get.


The user can store practically any data they want in the POD, including photographs, videos, and fitness tracker data. The data can then be shared with apps and services of the user's choosing, as well as other people.

As the data is also stored in a POD under the user's control, and not by other companies, there is no need to synchronize data if it is shared with multiple apps, as the same data source is used across the board.

The POD is also being touted as a method of authentication, along the lines as logging in with a Facebook account to another services' website. The ownership of a POD will apparently provide third-parties with enough proof that the user is who they say they are.






As long as the left uses data attacks to attack user's employment, social networks, and community contacts with threats and takedowns, anonymity will be a necessary feature for many of us. How we get there is the question.
30th-Sep-2018 12:00 pm - My tweets
Inspiration
28th-Sep-2018 12:00 pm - My tweets
Inspiration
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