606 Comments

Such a clear statement, as usual, of this phenomenon: "in which leftist or independent critics of mainstream fixations — from Russiagate to the campaign of Joe Biden to war in Ukraine — are reclassified as right-wingers and Trump supporters." I am one of those critics, around Covid policy and other things. People were so sure I was a right-wing Trump supporter that I almost believed it myself. Maybe I'd drifted rightward? Nope. I'm every bit the leftist I've always been. It's more like those who brand themselves as leftists are that no longer. Well, maybe they are if you understand "left" as a mere political grouping and identity, devoid of reference to anything but itself. That would be the post-modern view, wouldn't it. Anyway, thank you Matt for bringing attention to this.

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Independent thinking has little place in partisan politics. As someone more on the "Right", I find this true over here as well. Any nuance, practicality, or deviation from the party line and you are immediately labeled a RINO, or worse. We shouldn't be afraid of open discourse and independent, critical thought. It might be the only thing that saves us.

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I, too, have found myself on the receiving end of this baffling equivalence because I don't toe any particular partisan line. Funniest example (to me anyway): When SCOTUS struck down the employer (vaccine) mandate, I mistakenly included my sister on a group text celebrating the decision. As one for whom civil rights is a very important value, I was pleased with the decision. I say I mistakenly included my sister on the text because I knew she, as a "vote blue no matter who" diehard, would not approve of the mandate decision (I'm pretty sure MSNBC thinks for her). Anyway, her inapposite response to my text: "So what do you think about January 6th?" (Translation: I was against the mandate, ergo I must be MAGA, which I might add, I am not. And indeed, that is exactly what she meant by her question.)

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I assume that your response was along the lines of "...it's just another in a line of days before January 7th."

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I'm not a US resident but I still have lots of people who respond to any heterodox position I voice with accusations of being a Trump supporter. How neatly and perfectly the people of the world can be divided.

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Guilt by association. The psychological/sociological reflex is: well, here then, guilt by association. What’s the quickest way to shame and manipulate you, while also excuse myself from burning any calories reflecting on your position or thinking about this thing I’m already obviously right about at all?

It’s efficient.

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You are not allowed to deviate from the party line.

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Best statement I’ve read in a long time. And so true, I criticized the GOPs idea to change the age from 18-21 for gun purchases as rather futile and suggested 25 would be a better age as then the frontal lobe is fully formed....active military exempted... my Republican friends looked at me like I was an alien just landed.

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I'd make the age for all gun purchases 25, for the brain reason you mentioned, paired with a testing system--a national concealed carry license, with training, testing, and background checks--that gives those who pass the regimen the right to own at an earlier age.

I'd also raise the age for driving, drinking, and military service to 25, for the same reason, but the lobby groups would set me on fire for reducing their profits.

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Mr. Shayne, allow me a clarification, if you will. A focus on gun "purchases" will have little effect on crime and mass shootings if the vast majority of firearm-related crime is committed by those who illegally acquired their weapon. a fact I believe to be true. If your proposed policy dealt with gun "possession", rather than "purchase", it might make more sense, assuming criminals chose to follow such a law--in the same way that they observe gun-free zones.

BTW, I'm an NRA-certified pistol instructor and strong advocate of voluntary training. But allowing government agencies to establish criteria for mandatory training as a requirement for firearm possession moves the argument well beyond the Second Amendment.

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Jun 9, 2022·edited Jun 9, 2022

Thanks for this, William, and that is a very fair point. How would such a law work regarding possession as opposed to purchase? My goal was to make gun possession fully legal at 25, when the brain is fully developed, with a system in place for the many kids who are mature enough to possess those weapons earlier. If not at the purchase point, how would you accomplish that?

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William, since you asked, here are my basic thoughts on reducing gun violence, including mass murders at schools or elsewhere:

1. There have been, and always will be, insane people with murderous intent. Add to this group the individuals motivated by lust, revenge, jealousy, hatred, rage, etc. Firearms are one way for such people to wreak their harm, but there will always be arson, vehicular rampage, knives, blunt weapons, and myriad other ways. Did you know that federal crime statistics show more murders annually with fists and feet than with rifles of all types, including ARs and other semiautomatic rifles?

2. I can think of no government-imposed criteria such as "maturity" or presumed ability to predict/prevent firearm-related murder (i.e., red flag laws) that would be applied fairly. Governments will always place more limits on their ideological opponents than on their adherents. It's not hard to foresee some jurisdiction's reasoning that a group--African-Americans, Republicans, Branch Davidians, etc.--are by definition terrorists who have no right to firearm possession. Even the vaunted DOJ and FBI have shown their partisan bias.

3. There are 800,000 sworn police officers in the U.S. (population around 330,000,000)--approximately one officer per 412 Americans. One-fifth of the officers are on duty at a given time (168 hours in a week, 40 hours in a work-week, minus vacation/sick leave), meaning there is one sworn officer on duty per 2000 Americans. And...the USSC has decided the police have no legal duty to protect--see Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005), for example. We cannot rely on law enforcement for protection before-the-fact (or even after-the-fact, as in Uvalde). Hence we have the old chestnut, "When seconds count, the police are only minutes away."

4. So we are left with the defensive side--armed response being one measure. The CDC estimate of defense gun use (DGU)--that is, mitigation or defense from crime by an armed civilian, even if no shots are fired--at 500,000 to 3,000,000 incidences per year. In the case of schools, a four-point plan makes sense--barrier/fence around schools, controlled single point of entry, two or more armed security on duty, and school staff (teachers, etc.) willing to be trained and armed.

Criminals and crazy folks are not deterred by any law, no matter how well-intended. We must accept the duty to protect ourselves and our children with the same security measures present in every courthouse, legislature, and bank.

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And no, criminals will never obey these laws anyway. I'm trying to find a way to keep our rights intact while keeping guns out of the hands of the relatively few Americans whose emotions resemble nitroglycerine rather than maturity, because every mass murder is bad for all of us. Thoughts? I don't want any more gun control because it doesn't curb gun murders. An enhanced red flag law to catch kids posting on the Internet that they're going to do a school? Something else? What think you?

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I’m entirely content with broad mandatory training require at the state level. I would in fact prefer it. I’d rather the federal government stay out of it and the states do their due diligence.

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I, too, want to ensure newlywed couples out of high school are easy targets.

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Agreed.

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What other rights do you think should be raised to 25?

Drinking? Getting a credit card? Voting? Abortion?

Maybe we should take every thing away that comes with becoming an adult?

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All of them. And don't forget military service and draft age.

We picked the age of adulthood out of a hat anyway, because it was tied to graduation from high school, not maturity. If brain science shows that the human brain isn't fully mature until 25, why not tie all those rights to 25?

If you want to make everything 21, that's fine, too. But 16 for one thing, 18 for another, 21 for yet another, that's just stupid.

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You are correct when it comes to males. Given this well accepted frontal lobe development, why are we giving any male younger than that the right to vote?

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I’m good with voting being upped to 21. My answer i guess is that a male adolescent is hardly the only voter making uniformed choices... a gun can do more collateral damage.

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I disagree. Voting is far more dangerous than firearms.

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Collectively rather than individually. One person’s vote is not as deadly as one person with a gun. All of them altogether can do some damage, though. See the current state of the country.

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My point being, voting by 18 + year old adolescents is not as dangerous as guns in the hands of that age group, specifically males.

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Excellent point- it's been shown to be the case a million times over.

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The conservative, traditional ones wanted to maintain the voting age, drinking age- you name it. The liberals were wanting the changes. Does this mean you are conservative and traditional?

The Vietnam war changed a few things- old enough to go off to die, but not to vote.

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What changes were liberals wanting to make... I think it was Pelosi (?) who suggested the voting age be changed tp 16....yea, that makes perfect sense.....but I agree... too many inconsistencies. Not old enough to vote or drink, but old enough to die in some bullshit CIA/MIC sponsored war

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As a guy planning to vote a straight Republican ticket in November, I don’t get the objections to this. I can simultaneously acknowledge that this will do almost nothing to prevent school shootings or other mass shootings while finding nothing wrong with putting an arbitrary age limit on the purchase of firearms. Young men are likely to go off half-cocked in any era and this one is worse for them than most.

While I get the objection that if you can’t be trusted to own a gun you shouldn’t be trusted to vote (I agree with this, actually) I also understand incrementalism. Not changing the voting age upwards now or ever doesn’t mean you can’t reasonably raise the age of owning firearms. Not everything in life will be rationally consistent.

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Common sense and valid concern about anything that concerns the human condition now comes with a hyperbolic label and accusations of disloyalty.

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You sound like a RINO!

Just kidding. I think the right is better on this--much better--right now. Because they don’t ha e the same institutional or cultural power the left does. If they had it then they’d be as bad or worse.

A lot of this follows power and a sense of entitlement, of being “on the right side of history”. And I think there are more than a few people who are more attracted to power and relevance and attention than any political orientation--and will affiliate themselves with that. Their actual ideology is fungible. While the desire to have power within the culture is not.

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True that. The requisite purity pledge demand of partisan ideological lockstep is untenable and crushes independent spirit. I’m now in a lose/ lose prison, attacked left and right when daring to express a “ dangerous” non- conformist thought..

Never anticipated a day when Russell Brand,Kim Iversen, Saagar Enjet,Tucker Carlson, Naomi Wolf,Bret Weinstein, Tulsi Gabbard,Glenn Beck, Joe Rogan,Elon Musk, Glenn Greenwald, Gad Saad,, Jimmy Dore, Dave Rubin,Tyrus, Gutfeld, Bannon , Johnny Lydon The Whitecoat Project DeSantis and Bill Maher would share more common sense and willingness to fight a corrupt system than those we stupidly believed were on our side.

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It’s such an effective tactic. After years of drumming up vitriol against Trump, often based on fabricated narratives, coding anything as “Trump” or “Trump-adjacent” or “red” makes it untouchable and anathema for the NYT reading and NPR listening class. And it’s totally irrelevant if the thing is actually a Trump position. They’ve managed to code opposition to Covid “vaccines” as a Trumpy position, even while Trump brags about Operation Warp Speed and urges everyone to get their jabs. It’s all a Jedi mind trick to enforce obedience and squash dissent. And somehow it’s highly effective, despite its transparency. I mean, they’ve gotten the entire Democratic Party rabidly on board with a deeply misguided proxy war against a nuclear power. They’ve eradicated all anti-war sentiment from the party that once pitched itself as the anti-war party. We’re at a new level of mind control and propaganda that Orwell couldn’t imagine and Goebbels couldn’t dream of. The professional managerial class is putty in their hands.

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I wish I could disagree with any of what you just wrote. But yeah. Since when is it "right wing" to refuse to cheer for the latest war? To doubt the intelligence services? To be suspicious of large corporations like Big Pharma and Big Tech? I could go on...

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It’s made more ironic that the issues you called about are those formerly held by classic liberals. Now they have become exactly what they formerly hated.

Pro- survellaine, anti- civil liberties, pro- unlawful prosection and imprisonment of political dissidents, mandated lockdowns, makes, forced experimental vaccines, pro- war and intervention, pro- impeachment based on partisan contrivance, anti-diversity of thought,anti- fair trade , anti-NAFTA, anti- border security and anti-illegal immigration pro-driving down wages and hurting the American worker,pro-shutting down American manufacturing, pro late term abortion, supporting anti-Semitism, pro-China-China, pro-corporate multinationalism, pro- GMOs, anti-small business owners, pro- destruction of minority communities by violent mobs, pro-illegal guns used to commit murder and mayhem, pro-arson, pro-human rights abuses in China, Islamist nations and mutilating children w/ hormone blockers, chemical castration, genital mutilation, encouraging segregation, banning repurposed therapeutics, love for the CIA, FBI,DOJ, FISA, NSA, NIA, Patriot Act,Big Brother, the Police State, hatred of humor, promoting anti- feminist , trans males to destroy women’s sports and banning “ dangerous” books and films, ie “ Animal Farm”,” Brave New World”,”Atlas Shrugged”, Fahrenheit, “ The Diary Of Anne Frank”,”Doors Of Perception”, “ To Kill A Mockingbird”” Siddhartha”,”Steppenwolf”” The Gulag , “ The Band Played On”,”Raid At Entebbe”,” Network”Archipelago”, “ The Twilight Zone”, “ Hotel Rwanda”,” Catcher In The Rye”,, “ Sophie’s Choice” “ Gifted Hands””Boys In The Band”,” Cabaret”,”Lady Sings The Blues”, lighthearted feel good classic films, “Its A Wonderful Life”, “White Christmas”, , Shakespeare, Frederick Douglass anything of Russian heritage including Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev,Borishnikov, Nureyev, Rimsky Korsikov, Pavlova, Martina Navratilova, Faberge’,Tolstoy, Isaac Perlman, Chagall, nesting dolls, Yaakov Smirnoff, Solzhenitsyn, Gagarin, Beluga Caviar, Stoli,borscht

But… Stalin, Lenin, Das Kapital and the Communist Manifesto.. all good.

The latest intolerance of what used to be the liberal Democrat Party:

DaVinci,Picasso,Rembrandt,Renoir,Dali’, Michelangelo,Van Gogh, Klimt,Degas, Rubens,Gaugin,Whistler, Wyeth, Gainsborough, Sargent,Vermeer, Botticelli,Raphael, Kranich, Fra Lippi, Parrish, Millet, Millais, Munch,Frankenthaler, Rosenquist, Motherwell, Pollack, Warhol,Mondrian, Escher, Ernst, Agam, Bosch, Donatello, Modigliani, Peter Max and more bizarre still; Hendrix, Joplin, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Ravi Shankar, Joe Cocker, Humble Pie, The Band, Guess Who, Yardbirds, Ramones, Jackson 5, Temptations, Al Green, Otis Redding, Sly and The Family Stone,Chuck Berry, Otis Redding, Earth, Wind and Fire…. Probably because they didn’t preach war, hatred, violence, misery and divide.

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That's quite a list! Incredible. Oh, but you forgot Dr. Suess, LOL

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It’s okay when we do it though. We’re the good guys! Right side of history!

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It's the power and reach of propaganda here in the US.

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It isn’t limited to the US.it a global bloc.The UN,NATO,WHO,theWorld Economic Forum”Great Reset”aka “Build Back Better”decades in the planning BraveNewWorld.A centralized despotic government ruled by elite sociopaths, manipulated by kleptocratic corporate multinational technocrats. All owned by BlackRock/Vanguard/StateStreet who own each other and essentially every gigantic entity. They are the major stakeholders and partnered w/ China.

“ You will have no privacy, own nothing and be happy”

They no longer attempt to hide their agenda and very few are paying attention.

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Because people are so programmed to toe the line of their ideological, lockstep tunnel vision they no longer look outside the box.

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Propaganda is a powerful thing. It's making the US a land running headlong into insanity, with the left leading the charge.

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the left-right paradigm is breaking down. the scale of liberty vs tyranny has more explanatory power of a person's position.

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Pretty much agree, Resist. People fall onto the liberty-tyranny scale far more accurately than they do right vs left or Democrat vs Republican.

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This seems correct to me. As a libertarian, it doesn't surprise me at all that the left is going dish the road of authoritarianism. They started down the path decades ago, as did the right. The only difference is what issues their authoritarianism is most apparent in.

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The will to power knows no party.

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I agree! And tyranny comes in two flavors. Authoritarianism which our Founding Fathers rebelled against in the form of King George III, and the tyranny of the majority (totalitarianism) which the Founders worried would be the end result of government by "We the People". It seems like those are the choices we are faced with today. Is the stage set for a libertarian revival, led not by the Libertarian Party but one or both or the major parties moving in that direction?

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I do think people are starting to think less in terms of right vs left, and more in terms of freedom vs authoritarian, but I don't think any kind of libertarian revival is at all likely. Look at how censorship is cheered for by many just for one thing.

I think those that believe in individual liberty and autonomy will become more passionate about the cause, while the authoritarians will continue to push authoritarian policies to crush those that believe in freedom. And I think we're dangerously close to a technocratic surveillance state; so close in fact, that I'm not sure anything can be done to stop it at this point.

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Search “Aldous Huxley/Mike Wallace 1958 interview”. Be prepared for a shocking , inexplicably prescient prophecy. He warned, we yawned.

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Jun 9, 2022·edited Jun 9, 2022

I think totalitarianism is an extreme, all consuming, form of authoritarianism. An authoritarian wants you to obey the government. Totalitarians want you to worship it.

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tyranny has many flavors. socialism, fascism, democracy (aka mob) monarchy. there can be tyranny under any if them. that is why we need to disgard political law and get back to a scientific exploration of natural law.

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Jun 8, 2022·edited Jun 8, 2022

The political universe is pretty clearly two dimensional. We can argue about what quality we measure left versus right, but certainly authoritarianism is one axis.

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I'd say has completely broken down. The basic explanation to peoples positions is the degree to which they have bought into the MSM propaganda.

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Jun 13, 2022·edited Jun 13, 2022

The politician that can seize on the growing common ground between a traditional liberal and a modern conservative will have a nationwide mandate for decades

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The left and the RINOs are actively trying to keep this from taking place, using a multitude of methods: MSM, false flags, rampant brainwashing and so on.

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Absolutely! It’s become a battle of extremism.The far left is godless, the far right is a theocracy and missing from both extremes is any spirituality. De facto authoritarianism demanding compliance. Extremism begets extremism. Whether Communism, Fascism, specific theocratic doctrine, none of these doctrines represent a free and fair democratic republic.

I’d rather every elected official be sworn in using our Constitution. That’s the ultimate document. Upholding the rule of law,freedom and equal rights. That bus has left the station

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the far left is not godless. its god is government and it worships it. the state is its church.

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You didn't leave the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party left you.

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I admit, I was shocked when i saw you on the hit list, when I read what North Atlantic Books said about you. But in reading over your many articles it seems as if you actually take the time to think deeply, to explore the origins of your beliefs, and to remain true to the idea of that kind of intellectual honesty. That seems to be the most endangered quality of all these days. We are still the same leftists we always were but of a sudden find ourselves cast out. It makes for a difficult re-ordering of our internal sense of self. I am glad you stayed true to that.

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You call yourself a leftist, but you are probably far more of a traditionalist than you realize. Try that hat on for size- and remember to keep an open mind.

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Are there no traditions on the left?

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Name them

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Is that your final answer?

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Thanks Stephen! The admiration is mutual. Sacred and Healing Herbal Beers is one of my favorite books of all time.

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I will tip a glass to you when next I drink. Green Blessings and travel well.

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I’d describe it as being the classic liberals vs. leftism. Ditto Republican vs. right wing.

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You are a “ right winger “ if:

1~ you’re white and don’t bow down to self loathing and apologizing for pigment deficiency

2- Aren’t white, but don’t subscribe to the mantra that every white person is racist and a White Supremacist

3- Cite statistical concerns about the weekly shootings, stabbing,homicides and hopeless, vicious cycle of black on black crime and the innocents victims of inner city violence ignored by our “ leaders”

4- Advocate school choice for all who want it

5~Believe in secure borders and an immigration system that functions properly

6- Do not want to be ruled by a corporate- multinational global technocracy

7- Believe the most crushing racism is that of low expectations, particularly the inference Black people are of such lesser intellect that they are incapable of performing basic math, reading, asperation, family values, applying for voter ID and independent thinking skills makes one a “ racist far right White Supremacist Nazi”.

8- Dare make mention of the fact Black people comprise 13% of the American population and the number hasn’t grown, and look into the reasons why. Could it be the excessive homicide rate that nobody wants to address? The drug addiction that doesn’t appear to be coincidental, but intentional and the fact 75% of abortions are those of black pregnancies? Does that appear coincidental or deliberate? When Janet Yellen said abortion is good for the economy and the poor, especially for the “ Black Community”? But pro-life activists are “ racist White Supremacists”? I’m pro- life by choice and pro-choice in the belief that I am not the master of others. Nor are my decisions guided by religious ideology.

7- Though I’m not a “ Trumper”, he opened Pandora’s Box, exposing the corrupt truth about our system. Elections are rigged, our politicians and their corporate donor owners have sold us out to China, corporate multinationals,the war machine, and interventions, regime changes and the bogus forcing of our way of life where it was never wanted to begin with and expecting no consequences when it fails,corporate inversion,, one-sided trade, destruction of the blue collar middle class, loss of manufacturing, pay to play which he admitted his own participation realizing he was the problem,NATO, the UN and the IC criminal enterprise.and our lawless open border policies that particularly hurt the already disadvantaged and working class.And of course, not wanting to have an antagonistic relationship with Russia.

8- Agreeing or disagreeing with either party on certain issues, but agreeing on others and willing to have open conversations, sharing ideas and finding out that we aren’t each other’s enemy, but it is a propagandized construct pushed by toss in power to stay in power.

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Matt wrote that “I grew up in the ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s. A liberal was the person who was willing to talk about anything, had a sense of humor, was willing to entertain far-out ideas, didn’t get offended easily, and would’ve had a theoretical discussion about anything.” And Kara essentially agreed with him.

Well, I grew up a bit earlier than them, but we overlap heavily. Yet, I differ emphatically with Matt’s characterization. In my experience, liberals were overwhelmingly in the “Shut up, he explained” category if you challenged their dogma, at least as far back as the 70’s and have been moving consistently to the authoritarian side since at least then. In broad strokes, the reason Matt and Kara are surprised at present is because they were liberals in those decades and did not see what the other half of the country saw.

They had these beliefs about liberals because you were taught them and had it reinforced overwhelmingly. CBS was the leading source of broadcast news (with the 2 other major networks parroting the same message) the print news was almost overwhelming liberal, and (by the time you got to college) your educators were almost exclusively left wing. You, quite understandably, did not actually raise any ideas with your liberal friends and colleagues that were far-out, offensive, or even really theoretical to them because you were of a like mind.

On the other hand, in the 70s, raising the idea that the 3rd rate Watergate burglary might not be sufficiently egregious to remove a POTUS elected by 61% the people and 98% of the states would generate hostile screeching about how it was because “he lied to the American people.” No debate or discussion needed and you are a fascist for raising the question.

Setting aside the reality that they all lie to us, jump ahead to the 90’s and point out that Clinton lied under oath. The screeching was even worse this time, with liberals claiming this was just an attempt to reverse the will of the people (Clinton had 43% of the vote and 64% of the states) and you are a fascist for even considering impeachment.

Now, in advance, I will point out that I will not debate the merits of these two positions 3-5 decades after the fact (although I will concede that my position has changed on one of them over the years), that is not the point of the example. My point is that Matt/Kara never saw this irrational hostility to debate that liberals had on these two examples because they probably never considered the alternatives and therefore never experienced the rage.

Throughout these decades, there was alway widespread confirmation of the cliché that conservatives think liberals are stupid, but liberals think conservatives are stupid and EVIL. If you suggested that midnight basketball was a poor use of community resources, it could not be that you thought there were better options, it was because you were racist. Differing with some tenet of feminism was absolute proof that you were at least a misogynist (and probably a rapist too). The favorite argument has seemed to be that anyone who supports law enforcement and a strong military is, without question, a Nazi and the people elected on this basis were just little Hitlers.

Moreover, riots in the US have been predominantly the domain of leftist causes (yeah, yeah, January 6 – months shorter, billions less in damages, thousands less injuries and dozens of fewer deaths than the BLM/Antifa riots) and support for true tyrants such as Castro and Chavez by liberals (at least at the extreme end) shows that any qualms about authoritarian methods fall by the wayside if their ideology can be advanced.

Conservative voices have also been excessive in their response to disagreement – no question. The point I am addressing is that two such rational and well-developed minds can be so imperceptive as to expect, “… authoritarianism from the right; we did not expect authoritarianism from the left.”

I assure you that liberals have not changed their stripes in the past few years. What you are finally seeing has been coming for a long time. In the 70’s, liberals controlled the media, had a firm grip on education and were in the apex of a 70 year long control of most of the Federal government (in particular the House). Since then, alternative media has broken the grip of liberal media (although still fighting an uphill battle), liberals have to face the reality that they have lost their near permanent grip on the legislature, SCOTUS has experienced a sea change, and Republican presidential candidates are no longer uni-party clones.

Many liberals see that they have boxed themselves in a corner that leaves them almost no way to win the next two election cycles. Extreme liberals are furious and seem to be on some sort of last-ditch kamikaze dive, hoping that a furious assault with an array of authoritarian, anti-science, anti-common sense, suicide missions will alter the trajectory their policies and practices have created.

In short, they only seemed liked those nice open-minded people because you were on their side, and they were winning. They would have turned on you just as quickly last century if you had seriously challenged their orthodoxy.

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While reading this I imagined you casually shuffling around the house recording this into an old portable cassette player, and then later paying one of the "girls" at the office to transcribe it. Instructions: "something, I dunno, in a format suitable for publication in one of our nation's finer substack comment sections."

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Your vivid but ridiculously inaccurate imagination is not a particularly notable perspective. Well, perhaps there is something to your post, it might be considered a new twist on the straw man concept.

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Well said as usual. Also, as someone who knows each of us is born as God intended, you have an opportunity to write with nuance on behalf of those of us born intersex, entering the debate voicing our valid but marginalized concerns that upset both camps, which I know appeals to you! Humanity is mostly, but not entirely, a binary. I'm living proof, despite the infant surgeries and hormone treatments inflicted on my body. You can find me on NAAS...

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Yes, we can validate the exceptions without denying the rule. No need to cast anyone out of the garden.

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Male, female, intersex? Is that the range of sex? Asking because I'm only familiar with the traditional non-binary.

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I don't think intersex is the best word, but it's what's being used for those of us born with or with naturally-developing ambiguous sex traits, including a whole range of physical and chromosomal abnormalities. Non-binary commonly refers to people who express themselves androgynously, whichever sex they were born. Thanks for asking.

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You're welcome. Thanks for the good explanation.

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Yup, ditto. And rather than saying something unkind about the left’s myopic lens in which all non left are every “ist” on the list….maybe just maybe,there seems to be an increase in good old COMMON SENSE.

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I drifted rightwards as a young man going to art school. I arrived a center-left liberal and left a center-right conservative, entire because because of the far-left folks I encountered there and there intolerance of people who disagreed with them. I got to see a lot of this stuff then and it made me question my assumptions about the inherent virtue of my assumptions and the clear liberals=good/conservatives=bad formulation I had taken for granted.

This was in the late 80s so it’s funny to be Matt noticed it in the last 5 years ... but of course in 1989 the folks I was running into in a small art college did not control all the institutions (or have social media).

Now I’m just liberal on some things, conservative on others, libertarian elsewhere. My position is basically gay marriage is fine, I just wouldn’t want it to be mandatory. And that the market, as messy as it is, basically works better than central planning from the government. And that free speech is always a net good.

It’s my opinion now that certain bad human urges that we want to believe are ideologically affiliated just aren’t. Fascism, intolerance, totalitarianism, end-justifies-the-means, arrogance and bigotry ... can find ways to infect any group. Any group can to be zealots. Party affiliation and ideological bonafides don’t protect people from “it’s okay when we do it” and feeling you or your political side is above criticism.

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To be fair, I often hear Trump supporters call me a Biden supporter when I express anything less than full-throated support of their god-emperor.

Biden supporters do the same thing, although they tend not to attribute supernatural characteristics to the old doofus.

I detest both Trump and Biden heartily.

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I was okay with Trump, all things considered. Most of the stuff people hated didn't really bug me that much. But the "tiny tent" philosophy where "you have to agree me about everything or we are mortal enemies" seems to infect plenty of people in both parties. And there's minimal resistance to it--even NeverTrumpers are tiny-tenters, they just want it to be THEIR tiny tent, not the MAGA-types.

Agree to disagree is not a thing anymore, apparently.

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You are so right… I was a fan of Charles Krauthammer and often wonder what he would have made of his DC cronies who went into full apoplexy when Trump won… watching Bill Kristol, George Will and Steve Hayes get their bow ties side ways highly amusing for me. Their tent, their club, etc etc… the elitism is rife. It’s not that I’m pro Trump, I’m pro corruption free government.

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I'm at least pro "not so much corruption" in government. But even I was bamboozled about the deal Trump struck with Kodak to make, in America, the base chemicals needed for vaccines and other medical supplies that we were (probably still are) a net importer of. Why, another excellent thing to come out of the Trump admin (though likely of only minor thanks to him, if any). Not the Abraham Accords but I thought it was great news, and once again disposed me much more towards Trump than I was in 2016.

Then someone who knows a lot more about that stuff than I do told me it was basically securities fraud. Inflating stock prices so others could dump in and make bank. Which I found disappointing. And it all fell apart. Kodak says they are still going to move forward on the idea but not a lot of action on that, as far as I can tell.

https://www.whec.com/rochester-good-question/good-question-does-kodak-still-plan-to-make-drug-ingredients/6406950/

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I really need to stop caring so much because clearly even “ we” who try very hard daily to understand what is really going on, have no clue. I think what bothers me most about the Trump Presidency was the bi partisan arcane effort to make sure he did not succeed… no matter the collateral damage. I mean, any member of Congress calling Trump a crook is truly the pot calling the kettle black. If Don Jr had done anything remotely close to what Hunter Biden has pulled off…but in the mean time, we are burdening future generations with crushing financial debt and no seems alarmed.

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No one in Washington because it doesn't impact them! They're all rich and old. Or young and expect to get rich.

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As a candidate, Trump proposed things I agreed with and things I didn't agree with. The problem was that as president, he did few of the things I agreed with.

I could not care less about mean tweets.

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Smiling at seeing Charles Eisenstein as the first comment here.

I feel very similar as a creature of the far left, very open minded about all sorts of consensual choices and appreciating the fluidity of gender (the software).

Now I'm horrified at what's happening ... Yet people are so captured, sometimes by good feelings of wanting to be inclusive and compassionate (and to protect the vulnerable from those bad, hateful, anti-progress Trump supporters, who of course are the only ones who see a problem).

I did not realize the seriousness of the push for young people to transition until this year, from listening to biologist Heather Heying, another from the left person who has remained sane and wise and has no hatred or disrespect for trans people.

(https://naturalselections.substack.com/p/iamawoman?s=r)

But some of the *same people* wanting us to get used to genetically based injections - for all ages - without informed - *or parental* - consent, (*and* with demeaning & discrediting those who speak up about undisclosed harms), are also wanting the world to get used to changing biological sex as if that's no big deal, or even changing humanity entirely.

This from James Corbett, a solid information gather-er with beautiful soul, explains a part of this picture that very few talk about - https://www.corbettreport.com/what-is-the-trans-agenda-questions-for-corbett-video/

I'm grateful to anyone who speaks up about what's happening with denial of reality and encouraging kids to transition without true informed consent. But it's especially powerful when the challenges are from people who have no problem with diversity of sexual orientation, who are so obviously not conservative / homophobic / transphobic / hateful / whatever false labels they spew.

Grateful to both of you, Charles, Matt, for your wisdom and sanity and voices and willingness to go into topics that are minefields but are so important to understand in these times ...

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The Tweet by Elon Musk which shows a three-line graph on which he is "just left of center" on the first line. As the progressive stick-figure starts racing to the left on the second line, Musk finds himself in the center as the line's midline stretches to the left. The third line shows Musk scratching his head as he finds himself right of center as the progressive (progressive nonsense, if you will) races further to the left as the centerline is pulled along with the leftist stick figure. It's where moderates and left-of-center individuals now find ourselves: confused and disconcerted.

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Ok, I get it. But nothing is being pulled left. Counting the $60B to fight Russia down to the last Ukrainiian, did we just spend $900B on the military this year?

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My comment was to underscore "what it felt like" to find yourself left of center, generally speaking, and then, in a short five years, to the right. Your reply indicates that the scale can be shifted in the opposite direction for others because of military spending. You cite actual dollars spent; however, as a percentage of GDP, military outlays a few short years ago hovered around 2.5%, a small fraction compared to the Korean, Iraq, and ensuring second Iraq an Afghan escalations. You may wish to use this graph to reframe and recalibrate your argument: https://www.dailysignal.com/2015/02/14/history-defense-spending-one-chart/

My analogy was a light, anecdotal approach to describe one way to look at the various movements seen over the past five or so years and possible effect on the left-center-right scale. No biggie.

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You're right dawg. I felt the same way and I always correct people when they say "left" and force the word Democrat or Corporate Democrat into the conversation. Nobody hates war and the cannibal that is the US defense industry more than this ole Iraq vet. I want to tax the F out of Amazon, etc and abolish the Army, efund militarized police and on and on. I am more left than Marx dude

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Actually, you’re a pragmatic, independent critical thinker vs a lockstep blind follower.I was very opposed to taking an unproven genetic altering experimental unknown. My concerns were not based on religious ideology, but history.Matter of fact, I lost any trust in Trump’s supposed independent skepticism. And I knew him personally when he was citizen Trump and a shrewd , creative, non conformist businessman.His terrible cabinet appointments and impulsive lack of restraint proved he should have remained citizen Trump.To confide in Bob Woodward?

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It used to be called Mengelian.Now it’s “ right wing extremism” to espouse preventing Nazi experimentation

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I don't get it. Why would the left adopt this ideology so fervently. I have four daughters and of course I want them to have an equal chance for success as any man, but they are distinctly girls. They happen to identify as being girls as well. The idea that a man dressed as woman can expose himself in a spa or bathroom is ludicrous or a biological man can compete against them in sports requiring size and strength is insane. It's not fair, safe or progressive. My only explanation is that the left is not really the left, but an embodiment of a grander project to control all natural elements of being a human being. I think its this control that drives this ideology. Its like a modern tower of babble. They want to control all aspects of life from biological sex to disease. A sea of experts/technocrats who make up all laws and rules. Little demigods running your everyday life. Brave New World? Any other explanations? I am all ears.

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If there's one thing I've seen in the last 10 years or so (?) is the attack on language. Illegal aliens are now 'migrants'. A woman is a... IDK... (according to the newest member of SCOTUS), a liberal is more a libertarian... and on and on.

The only thing I can come up with is that this is the effect of some kind of post-modern movement that started in uni's. I'm not well versed w/ the area of study, but my current understanding is that it revolves around a central idea that the universe is ultimately unknowable. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe it actually began in the post WW I era, which is not surprising. For a bunch of reasons that I have yet to fathom exactly what they were (too lazy to read sooo much stuff on it) Europe sent an entire generation of young men to be slaughtered or maimed on the battlefields. And the survivors came out asking WTF just happened?

Philosophy, art and maybe to a point science were all affected by the collapse of objective truths. It's taken almost a hundred years to take effect, but here we are.

In Canada this post-modern ethos (tl/dr: 'There's not objective reality') is extremely wide spread. It's actually kind of frightening when you see it at work.

Here's the thing: reality is reality. A woman is a woman. 2+2 does in fact equal 4. Boys will be boys and girls will be girls, no matter how much shouting and posturing is done.

Look, I've been following Peter Zeihan's work. In the last week, I've probably watched 7 or 8 interview's and presentations he's given. He's brilliant.

He also says that there's a shitstorm coming. Not a bunch of yahoos marching in the streets, but total collapse of nations on the horizon (as in w/in a year or so) in the Middle East and parts of Europe. There is going to be famine and starvation, inflation like we've never seen and social disruptions are going to be the norm.

And a 1/3 chance of nukes going off in Europe.

When that shitstorm hits, all this nattering about pronouns and gender fluidity is going to be swept away like the dusty dross it is. Regular people just won't have the time nor consideration to be polite to assholes.

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Yes, it is a direct outgrowth of postmodern Critical Theory. The Darwinian Revolution brought into focus the concept that human value systems are based on no reality that is independent of the social interactions of humans as a species. Critical Theory formulates this situation into a worldview where all cultural norms are simply a product of the power structure of the dominant culture, because there are no ultimate criteria of truth legitimizing any particular culture.

The political manifestation of this view is that societal changes are brought about by deconstructing the power structure of the current society, which in practice means attacking societal norms around which society is organized.

A very good book on this is Cynical Theories by Pluckrose and Lindsay

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As a GenXer I read much of the postmodern theory upon which current Theory is based. In particular, Foucault on power, and Derrida on language. At the time of their writings (1970s-80s), postmodernism was a sort of nihilistic, existentialist, and largely academic analysis of the human social condition. It was not until the postmodern "turn" of the 90s and later that theory became weaponized into the ungodly neo-Marcusean form we see today.

Cynical Theories, while a bit repetitive, does an excellent job of tracing out that evolution.

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Yeah, I only touched on existentialism in Uni. It was my 1st go round, in the mid-70's. We looked at Some of that stuff, but more Camus and Nietzche. I think your overview is a great distillation.

Fuck, there are some absolutely brilliant people on this forum man.

What was your major? I landed on a Psych degree when I finished up in '06 (long story), but started as a Phil/Theo back in the 70's.

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I was Computer Science lol. Then I did a one-year master's degree in literature and literary theory. But that was 1988, i.e. decades ago. Yes, there are still some dinosaurs out here :)

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You've probably seen this or are already aware of what it describes, but here's another explanation of how the Left stumbled into a dark alley to be mugged by the Theory people: "The First Privilege Walk: How Herbert Marcuse’s widow used a Scientology-linked cult’s methodology to gamify Identity Politics and thus helped steer the U.S. Left down the dead-end path of identitarian psychobabble." https://nonsite.org/the-first-privilege-walk/

The whole thing might have been avoided if Adorno had gone to the beach when he was marooned in LA., instead of grimly thinking about the end of the world and how to destroy language. Seriously, these people have done tremendous damage.

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I'm familiar w/ both of Prof's Pluckrose and Lindsay. I used to ff them on Twit until I was banished for saying that trans people are more mentally ill than mis-gendered. Oh well.

Your synopsis is spot on. I don't see the Darwin connection (don't worry, I'll check it out myself)... I thought it was more an offshoot of Einstien's work on Relativity.

I do believe that there is some merit to the argument insofar as the dominant culture establishing/ maintaining cultural norms- see Galileo's dust up w/ the Vatican about celestial bodies or the justification of slavery throughout the world.

Look, my undergrad was Psych (finally finished it in '06! LOL). In my studies, a guiding principle was the 'psycho/social/biological' influences on human behavior. And, to be frank, each one of those realms play a role. And I think part of the human condition is finding the best balance among them.

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Yes. I would add material conditions as part of the influences on human behavior as well. An important part of institutional illegitimacy and rejection of categories is related to the current, extreme material inequalities. I think.

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What societal changes do they want?? I think I understand the theory but what is the motivation to believe it and put it into practice? Who benefits????

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It’s an important question. Here’s my take on it. Initially, postmodern Critical Theory was just a nihilistic academic exercise. But as it became dominant in academia it seeped out into the culture with a potency far beyond the philosophy itself.

I believe this is because the Theory is just verbal cover for the actual dynamic, which is ethnic and class-based strife. The one thing all the Intersectional Theory has in common is the belief that the existing political structure is illegitimate. This is why progressives aren’t really interested in progress, their aim is to invert existing hierarchies. Of course, just like Marxism, nobody actually benefits except the people who seize power through force.

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Of course, the hierarchy they operate under also ends up constantly under siege, hence the meaninglessness of modern secular society wherever you find then. And there is nothing stopping conservatives from also using these language tools to subvert hierarchies they don't like. One might be better of joining a cult instead to find meaning in life. There is more to it than force; that's part of their dismal idea of the good life.

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In its end-state, no one. The question is simply whether or not we figure that out beforehand.

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Actually Darwin was a bit more complex than that. He didn't say much of what is attributed to him and did say much that is never mentioned. He was, however, extremely Victorian and very uncomfortable about sex. His pronouncements on sex and mating in nature are not very intelligent. But is was also very clear that human beings were not at the apex of the pyramid. "There is no higher or lower" a sign in his office said. He would have been appalled by the human centrism that his theories have been used to support.

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I recall in HS Darwin's theory as being the foundational justification for the robber barons- 'Social Darwinism'. And in the post WW 2 era, so many people (including me in HS) fell in loooove w/ Ayn Rand's work. Pretty much along similar lines. Today, when people spout off her themes I tell them to finish HS and join the real world. But then...I also say that to a lot of people w/ a SJW bend.

I'm such a curmudgeon!

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Right. And this sets the stage for meaninglessness, anomie, and nihilism, etc.

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"Regular people just won't have the time nor consideration to be polite to assholes."

It is a symptom of our prosperity. Societies always have a class of parasites - think priesthood or management - that contribute little (if anything) to our well being. In a society where everyone is struggling to survive there isn't enough social surplus to have a very large parasitic class. Ah, but when you are as prosperous as we are, we can have a lot of resources siphoned off to support a vast parasitic class. Crash that prosperity, and the parasites will die off far faster than the productive. That's the shitstorm coming.

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Lest anyone think I'm being unfair, I'm technically a parasite myself in this view of the world.

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Then you'll perish, or at least your worldview will. In the meantime, you write well!

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Oh the parasite class never disappears entirely, and reconstitutes as soon as prosperity allows. It's just that ours is massive right now - a good trimming back is overdue. And you know what they say about age and treachery - youth and energy don't stand a chance.

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Great distillation, Rather. It's a symptom of prosperity- plenty of money, debt, technology etc to enable the parasites. Plenty of resources to squander. the shitstorm will eradicate them- or maybe they will become targets in the eyes of the rest of us- and disappear in that fashion.

Sound harsh? Oh baby, it's gonna be

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Some will even find they have the capacity to produce and not just consume.

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I’m not sure it will happen to the parasite classes you think it will (management or priests, for instanced ). But I think you’re right that, as we force ourselves to re-learn the lessons of the past, the hangers-on will be culled.

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I think your analysis is a good one. Isn't there a phrase for it? A first world problem? I'm not sure I got it right, but I'm in the neighborhood.

I've heard a description of whom you described as being 'PMC' for Professional Managerial Class'.

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It's also talked about as the overproduction of elites. Same exact thing you see in 19th century Europe as the landed aristocracy gave way to the bourgeois.

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That's the modern incarnation. The thing to understand is that this is a perpetual human condition and really unavoidable in a complex society.

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I agree, human striving leads to success and failure. That leads to fewer and fewer winners, and more and more losers. Ultimately, it all tips over and we have to do everything again. The only thing that changes is the means by which we attempt to maintain equilibrium, and for how long.

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Never heard of Zeihan, but I’m gonna look him up. Seems like we’re halfway to that prediction already. My bet is on the mullahs in Iran to be the ones crazy enough to light off a nuke.

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my bet is on Uncle Joe pushing the wrong button

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You assume he knows where it is! LOL

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even a blind chicken get a piece of grain ever oncet in a while

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True! Scary as hell, but yeah...

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No, Joe, that would be your belly button...

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He's a real polyglot- he knows a hella lot about a hella lot of shit.

I think he's smarter than Chomsky. No lie- a giant of an intellect. He blew me away yesterday- I'm still trying to fix my hair!

I can give you links if you want. In fact; here's the one that got me started. Yeah, Krystal & Saagar's show...

https://youtu.be/L-Y8Gh12ao0

Sent me down a rabbit hole for all of yesterday (I had to take the day off anyway, and spent if watching his stuff).

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Thanks for posting this. Listened to the video. Do you have any others you can recommend? May get his book. Been feeling like we are at the end of our world for sometime.

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Okey dokey! You asked for it! LOLZ.

Now in a lot of these, the same principles are gone over, but thru the repetition, Peter gives more examples. I'm not sure exactly why, but despite me being easily bored, I found each one fascinating.

Firstly is this one. The host asks really good questions and I can't believe how quickly it moves. https://youtu.be/fZHfnDrEZNA

Now this second one looks at it from a military perspective...duh- he's giving a talk at an Army base! LOL: https://youtu.be/l0CQsifJrMc

This 3rd one is more from a financial markets perspective. His take on Bitcoin is compelling: https://youtu.be/8o-nPyPlBdw

This one is all audio; in fact I listened to it on Google podcasts. Again, really, really good: https://youtu.be/nYZGlmX6HXY

Lastly, if you want uber macho; the host of this is a thriller writer and former SEAL team member. Nevertheless, it's OK. Save it for last though. the previous ones are the best. https://youtu.be/w_QvRX41Las

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Are you getting his book? (My book stack is pretty thick!) You might want to check out Abbey of Misrule here on Substack. He talks about similar themes. He looks at how we are being taken over by machines.

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You're in for a treat. Zeihan's a fascinating figure.

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I will have to check out Mr. Zeihan's work, if only to add to my pile of Depressive Must Reads!

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Yeah. I don't know the people you cite, but I've come to the same conclusions. The Left, especially, but the whole globalized establishment have tried (for reasons of money, ultimately, not ideology) to erase 10s of millions of people from the public square. People unsurprisingly don't like that. Big storm a 'coming. All this gender stuff will just be a footnote to history, and not even a long one. No one will care other than specialists.

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One thing I left out: Peter Zeihan's such a hot commodity in the media right now b/c he called Russia's invasion almost to the day years ago.

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Read Cynical Theories. You'll get caught up on where all this comes from.

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Never heard of Ziehan. Thanks!

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And this is the problem, you can't identify into sex. "Girl" female human child. "Woman" is adult human female. None of those words are categories of things you can identify into or out of. The expansion of either definition to include anything that is not in the age category, not in the sex category, or not in the species category removes the meaning of the word.

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Yes. Your brain still works!

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Yeah, I agree. And each of those categories you described are based on facts.

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They will then identify "sex" the way they want to so that people can identify into it. They aren't going to go to the dictionary, LOL. Logic is useless when language is so malleable as to be meaningless.

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The response I usually see is that some babies are born with ambiguous sex or are hermaphrodites (I forget today's PC term for them) or are unusual combinations of X and Y chromosomes. These would, however, appear to be exceptions that don't change the rule.

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Yes, the rule remains. They also still have a sex. Even in the case of "true hermaphroditism" in humans they cannot produce more than one gamete because the biochemical processes that lead to sperm inhibit ovulation and vice versa.

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I can't come up with another reason either, John. Is there some covert conspiracy to upend western civilization that is just using well-intentioned leftists, or are today's events the natural evolution of progressive behavior that lacks any ethical or common sense guardrails?

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The likelihood of a conspiracy seems extremely small, given how effective the destruction has been. We have seen just how ineffective our institutions are when they try to accomplish a simple goal. How then could members of those same institutions effectively accomplish a grand conspiracy to...do anything.

The only other conclusion available really, is a natural degradation as we legislate and prostrate to the lowest common denominator of our populations.

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Well put, SS. Progressive behavior never realized it contained the seeds of its own destruction. Deviation from traditional values is a slippery slope. You start losing the natural brakes and, as you say, guardrails. You slide to the bottom- where we are now.

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Tower of Babel indeed: when we try to reach godlike (in this case, non-sexed) status by technology rather than by the means encoded in Nature. In the Tarot, the Tower is 16th Arcanum with destruction from above AND doubly in the 18th Arcanum (Eclipsing Moon) as figures that restrict into a forward-backward motion.

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The most provocative theory I've come across was formulated by N.S. Lyons---namely, that what we're dealing with here is the latest iteration of Gnostic cultism. "That much of what we call politics and the 'culture war' is really an ancient theological war over the metaphysics of reality, colliding with the digital revolution."

https://theupheaval.substack.com/p/the-reality-war?s=r

Gnostics believe the material world as we see it is fundamentally illusory and corrupt, and that behind this wretched facade of existence lies a purer realm, which can only be accessed by adopting special knowledge, or gnosis. To transcend wicked nature is the highest spiritual calling (and requires quite a bit of "education").

Of course, transcending nature must involve transcending one of its most central and concerning aspects: sex. And gnostic cults have always had a... less-than-healthy relationship with the proverbial birds and bees. And unfortunately, feminists like Dansky are no help. She and her ilk---"These are stereotypes that we all have in our minds about what boys and girls are supposed to like... but they have nothing to do with our biology"---have righteously propelled us down this anti-human path. She's only having second thoughts now because the revolution is finally encroaching on her pet issues.

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She's talking about the socialization of gender norms, critiquing the part about women being lesser simply because they are more emotional, etc. She's completely embracing material reality, ie; biology of the body and critical of the narrow boundaries that society keeps women and girls in based on their biological reality. Gnosis means know they self. It's actually rooted in the world of self exploration, which leads to a greater compassion and understanding of others. You don't really seem to understand either feminism or Gnosticism.

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"Men stereotypically are aggressive... [which has] nothing to do with our biology."

Dansky graduated college, and thus must have taken a few biology courses. She should at least pretend to know what testosterone is and does if she's going to lark as some kind of bio-realist.

But she can't, because she's not. She believes the gender binary is a false dichotomy---a false consciousness foisted upon humanity by Society, or the Patriarchy, or maybe even Yawheh himself. In other words, she's a Gnostic, and no less responsible for the modern practice of 'gender affirmation surgery' than the Gnostic Physicians performing it.

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You're conflating "sex" with "gender" which would make any person confused. She understands that sex is biology, and gender is sociologically constructed. That means that yes, men do tend to be more "aggressive" and likely because of testosterone, however, excusing male violence towards women because men have more testosterone isn't ethical or high minded. Yes, men have more aggression due to testosterone. No, men don't get to use women as punching bags. I think you can agree with that, right?

Sex IS a binary. Gender is also a binary because it requires sex in order to have any meaning, according to gender critical feminists. She is openly critical of the idea of a million genders! Do women tend to be more emotional? Yes. Should we consider women silly and childish because they exhibit more emotional intelligence? No. (that's the feminist part and which includes a critique of patriarchal societies...which don't benefit men, either.) Should we degrade women who are NOT exhibiting emotional intelligence and regard them as "less womanly"? No. We can simply say that some women are more masculine or less feminine without attaching a judgement to any of it. Should we say that a masculine female is a man because she's masculine. NO. Fuck no. Disagree?

This antagonism towards women who are fighting for female AND male humanity is juvenile given the circumstances of our society.

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She was just wrong, and even oceans of tortured rhetoric won't cover it up. Are there any feminist intellectuals, or is that an oxymoron?

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The first intelligent feminist intellectual who comes to mind for me is Laura Kipnis. I believe K.C. Johnson is a woman. The former authored Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus. The latter co-authored The Campus Rape Frenzy. Camille Paglia also comes to mind. All three are vocal critics of gender studies. Any legitimate feminist would be opposed to sexism directed against women or men. All three recognize that the feminist movement achieved its goals and that gender studies imprrils that progress. They recognize, for instance, that women are as highly represented as men (or perhaps overrepresented) in STEM professions that they are interested in pursuing, and for quite some time, more women than men have attended law school. There were more female than male students when I went to law school at American University dtarting in 1993. When factoring in time off for child care, there is no pay gap between men and women. The main issue today's feminists face is the corruption of feminism by gender studies, which is a synonymous term for misandry. I realize you know that.

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I'd be careful to keep in mind that this broad generalizations can be easily misinterpreted to mean that men are inherently aggressive. None of my male friends are more aggressive than my female friends. I realize that my sample is biased, but that's precisely my point: the generalization about male aggression is not nearly as universal as it sounds, which is why iI would word it differently. I would word it thus: a higher percentage of men than women become physically aggrressive. Women can be quite aggressive emotionally (just as men can be). That's still a form of aggression. And women can be physically aggressive, regardless of testosterone production. The only person who ever tried to smash my skull with a a hard rock was a drunk, ex-girlfriend who was a heavy alcoholic at age 22. Testosterone is one of many factors.

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"None of my male friends are more aggressive than my female friends."

Congrats on surpassing 1980's-level androgyny.

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"...yes, men do tend to be more 'aggressive' and likely because of testosterone..."

"likely"---do you see what a mean, 0 other people reading this?

Anyway, thanks for the references offer, but I've already read The Chalice and the Blade. And I did enjoy reading it; it's a lovely fable.

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“Likely” used instead of “partially”. Other factors lead to male aggression unless you’d like to argue we all live in caves. Look, if pedantry is all you got after the explanation I wrote, you’re just trolling. And your sort of feeding into the stereotype of dumb male behavior.

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Jun 10, 2022·edited Jun 10, 2022

And as someone who understands this shit, men in our society are often groomed to be aggressive and in some circumstances, rewarded. Whereas, in societies of past and present that are more egalitarian and which prioritize pleasure bonds between men/women and parent/child, male aggression is neither heavily punished or encouraged. Male aggression is simply not a problem because the entire society is not built around the glorification of violence. If you are interested in learning about those such societies, I'd be happy to reference some articles/books.

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Complete fantasy. I think there is a 'noble beast' hiding in the bushes. Maybe a Comanche, member of a noble nation that would torture captives for days on end. But with equality in mind, of course.

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You don't know the diff between radical feminists and pussy-hat-parade 3d wave feminists.

Big diff, dude. Study up before spouting.

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No one has the spare time to learn this shit. Life is short. Do anything else.

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Nope.

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Yeah I noticed that same turd in the punch bowl about stereotypes and biology. I guess I choose to believe people do things for a reason.

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trans humanism.

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I'm going to stick with my explanation that this is how people market themselves today to make money. Sure it looks crazy to ordinary Americans, but there is apparently enough money in academia and in foundations to enable these learned personality disorders called academic disciplines.

There's no project. The people who strongly align as Democrats are too blinkered and stupid and fractured to put together something this complicated. Conservatives have been winning for 40 years, with deregulation especially, and will continue to win because the Democrats don't offer a clear alternative. Since Clinton they are Republican-lite. So remember, all, that when Ann Coulter or Tucker Carlson, who you "watch" because you've forgotten how to read and think, tell you about liberal terrors, they are calling you stupid too.

There's no such thing as "the Left." There is no Left phone that connects to Left headquarters, where CEO Radical Left makes the decisions, that are then emailed to all the card-carrying members of the Left, who repeat them.

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The Soviet Union collapsed, after disappointing them for decades. Their false god is dead. They want revenge.

Also, it has become much easier to make a living at activism in the last two decades. Postmodernism is the new line of bullshit.

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For American communists, the bloom was off the rose no later than 1939 when the fascists and authoritarian Soviet governments agreed to partition Poland. There are no socialists to be found at the signing of that pact. Do better.

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Not enough people with functioning brains have read or truly understood the warnings so presciently laid out in Huxley’s prophetic Brave New World.

John, search “ Huxley/ Mike Wallace 1958 interview” and be prepared to experience the most terrifying epiphany nobody is talking about.

There is no way to explain Huxley’s foresight. None. I can only conclude it is from something far greater than mortal conjecture.

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This is “The deconstruction of gender.” As you say a “grand project to control all natural elements of being a human being.”

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Exactly! TERF has totally become the acceptable misogyny

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From my observation, TERF is roommates with "Trumper" in the same shallow bag of rhetorical tricks -- it's intended to mark the speaker as someone beyond the pale and shut down any rational discussion of her perspective. "She's a witch, burn her!"

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Why are men dressed as, and imitating, women not condemned with the same fervor as white men in blackface?

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I would turn it around and say that race is certainly more of a made-up category than sex, so why would we care which "race" a person identifies as or presents as.

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Jun 8, 2022·edited Jun 8, 2022

H'mm. You can't be half male and half female. Your gametes are either sperm or ova. even though half your ancestors were male and half female. You *can* be half African and half Chinese, taking both terms to describe ethnicities.

Gender roles, however unequal and however inappropriate to the current historical moment (or perhaps to any other), didn't come about in the same way as intercontinental slavery.

There was a lot of ugly history around race and slavery, and blackface is found offensive because of its association with that history.

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Someone recently made the foolish mistake of suggesting trans-racialism and the twitter harpies went berserk.

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Do you know how many transgenndered people are murdered in the US every year? Hundreds. It's appalling, more so because cops (usually) don't care.

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That figure sounds awful until you get a little context.

Firstly, it's probably not "hundreds". HRC gives a figure of 57 [1].

More broadly, there were 20,726 gun deaths in the US in 2021 [2].

The FBI say 2,991 women were murdered in the US in 2019 [3] (the most recent year for which it has data). That's 8 per day. And that's actual women.

[1] https://www.hrc.org/resources/fatal-violence-against-the-transgender-and-gender-non-conforming-community-in-2021

[2] https://www.thetrace.org/2021/12/gun-violence-data-stats-2021/

[3] https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2019/crime-in-the-u.s.-2019/topic-pages/tables/expanded-homicide-data-table-1.xls

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Are they murdered by roving bands of bigots, or by unhappy [ex-]lovers and drug dealers? Is that actually more than commit suicide?

The universe doesn't care, so if you don't have a god that does, you're shit out of luck.

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Do cops care about anyone getting murdered?

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It depends. Homicide detectives in Washington DC have an acronym - PSK, it stands for public service killing, or the death of a known bad guy. A friend of mine who served on a jury in DC said of the experience: if I'm ever going to murder someone I know I'll do it in DC, and get away with it. Now pretty young blonde woman gets killed, and everybody cares.

Penny, almost none of us truly fear for our lives on a daily basis not because of the law, or the police, but simply because no one wants to kill us. If someone does want to kill you, it isn't likely going to be the police that stop them.

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Don't underestimate the callousness any job produces. One sees the same kind of thing with surgeons and soldiers.

I have one particularly amazing story about combat medics, if you're interested. It's dark as hell though. Fair warning.

And no, when it comes to the police, I would avoid calling them at all costs. I can take care of myself.

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That's because of our keeping sex work illegal. I don't think you'll find that kind of problem where a prostitute has legal recourse.

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Are they murdered for being trans? Or is that secondary to something else? Do we have any idea?

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Yes, we do, and normally they are murdered for “something else.”

If a black transwoman is at a backyard party in Chicago, and a gang does a drive-by shooting, the trans woman is just as likely to catch a bullet as anyone, but no more likely.

Being murdered for being trans hardly ever happens, outside of the sex trade. And a lot of people involved in the sex trade get murdered.

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Statistically trans people in the US are killed at a lower rate than both women and men.

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I see some key differences that are worth considering... Blackface is historically part of a performance that ridicules and further dehumanizes an oppressed group of people who were enslaved and who still face racism and structural barriers to power. While women have also faced oppression and barriers:

(a) while it's hard to compare, most would probably agree that feminism has not needed to overcome the same degree of power differential as emancipation from enslavement (note also: Black women have had to face both dimensions of oppression); e.g. The Kids in the Hall dressing as women is not "punching down" the same way that a blackface or other racial caricature would be

(b) unless you assume malevolent intentions out of the gate, trans women are not doing this to ridicule, "imitate" or parody cis women — it is a genuine expression of their self-perceived identity, and

(c) someone hypothetically claiming to identify as another culture or race than the one they were raised into seems contradictory in a way that gender isn't: i.e. one is arguably more fixed in their racial identity (by the culture they are immersed in when growing up, including language and nationality) in a way that they are not with gender — i.e. someone assigned "male" at birth has an opportunity to experience "female" activities/roles/etc. within a culture in a way that someone seen as "white" cannot experience growing up Black/Asian/etc.

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Please never use the term "cis" it is insulting and illustratres a tool the trans activists try to disenfranchise biological women. They pretend that they are the "true" women so they can ignore our existence and bully us into silence. It is deeply misogynistic. Please don't argue it is used with men too, because it is clear that the trans community first uses it to silence women.

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Oh, I hadn't been aware of sensitivity around that term. In my experience (including direct personal relationships with trans people, reading articles, etc.) I haven't encountered anything that looked like bullying or a desire to silence/disenfranchise biological women. I'm not saying this to negate your perspective, but to provide context and acknowledge my ignorance and learning process. If you have recommended reading that might help me, please feel free to share it.

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See the Equality Act! And Lia Thomas and all the male prisoners claiming to be trans who are invading women's prisons.

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NO! Trans activists want to legally erase biological sex and replace it with gender—See the Equality Act! Women are not going to allow it. That's the reason I will NEVER vote for a Democrat again unless and until they completely renounce their support of that legislation, legislation that will erase women's rights!

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I think you are missing the point on women. It was not all that long ago, really, that women could not own any of their own property. it all passed to the man on marriage, or if jointly generated, it was owned by the man. Marital rape was legal. in fact many women were worse than servants. servants could quit. it was in many respects legalized slavery.

You miss the point on trans people. there are many trans women that are doing so in good faith, i know some of them. But all people are just people. And a number of trans women are nothing of the sort but men who are using the current unclarity to take advantage of it. like: rapists being put in women's prisons. There is always someone who will take advantage, malevolence is an innate part of the human condition.

Your third point: most people are unaware that membership in a native american tribe is determined by the tribal council. (NAs are people too, just like everyone else, good and bad.) So, it should not come as a shock that there are instances of a tribal clan becoming dominant on a tribal council and then redefining what it means to be a tribal member so that all members of a competing clan are kicked out. Some of them in fact have lived nowhere else, speak only their traditional language, and have had little contact with non-Native america. What are these people? Well, they are not Native Americans. Native Americans are people who have enough blood quantum to be a member of the tribe. They have a number assigned to them. IF they make their living as a jeweler they can't call it native American jewelry. And they are claiming identity in "another culture or race" after having been denied the right to do so. What about the black slaves of Native American tribes? They gained their freedom after the Civil War but many had been part of the tribe for a long time and were given membership by the government. There were many who were not slaves but who had been adopted or married into the tribe. they were considered members of another culture.

(Oh, btw, the reasons that the tribes kick people out and that they kicked out all black members [overturned by the courts, which is very unusual] is for the money. Now that gambling is making so much, it is portioned out to members. fewer members, more money.) what about a white baby being adopted by a married black american family? who grows up in solely a black culture. what are they? People have been going in and out of other cultures and races as well a very long time. I don't think your points are subtle enough in their analysis.

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The "feelings" of men who identify as women should not take legal precedence over the rights and feelings of biological women, yet that is EXACTLY what the Equality Act will do if it's ever passed by the Senate (It's already been passed by the Democratic House) and signed by Joe Biden as he wants. Women have been thrown under the bus and run over by the Democratic Party. That is a fact!

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Acknowledged - my points lacked subtlety, partly because of my ignorance of the direct experience of being a woman or a "racialized" person in society. It was my best attempt to explain what still seems obvious to me: why "blackface" deserves condemnation in a way that trans women embodying/dressing-as women does not (per the original comment by DavidH).

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I give up---why are men dressed as, and imitating, women not condemned with the same fervor as white men in blackface?

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oh, my, that is a very good point. Thank you.

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As long as the rabid lefties keep excommunicating any of their own who diverge even slightly from the orthodoxy, their ranks will continue to shrink.

That the Right is willing to have reasoned conversations with not only its own dissenters, but with folks they passionately disagree with, speaks pretty clearly to where the center of intellectual discourse is these days.

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What you describe is precisely my experience. All my life I was the most liberal of my Dem friends, but when I questioned the Russiagate narrative starting in 2015, I was excommunicated. People on the so-called right, however, have been much more open minded and curious about what I believe and why.

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The Woke are merely the left's Qanon. Both have had an outsized impact on our world. Both are crazy, both are interested in power and collapse rather than service to life and rebuilding. Both are tiresome, neither have a sense of humor. Both are extremely dangerous.

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Yes, but the woke hold real political power in far greater numbers than QAnon.

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I don’t see Qanon logos all over the corporate and academic world and I don’t see Qanon crap being incorporated into the legal system as covered by Bari Weiss and others. Explain how Qanon is anything other than a myth?

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Ta Dah! Good analogy

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