It’s Time to Calm Down, a Trump Presidency Isn’t the End

Ok so my facebook is overrun with sad posts about how trump got elected and how stupid and racist America is, so I’m going to provide some counterbalance. Look I don’t like Trump, the man has said and done a lot of stupid and reprehensible things. However that doesn’t necessarily translate to bad leadership, many famous leaders throughout history have said and done a lot of stupid and reprehensible things and come out to rule and lead pretty effectively. And while many fear Trump’s unpredictability, I see that as opportunity for something new, and I do think we need something new.

Hillary on the other hand is a known quantity but she’s known for not being good. She may not appear dumb or racist or whatever adjective you’d like to attack Trump with, but she’s clearly a dishonest, suspicious leader who thinks very little of the average American. This isn’t just about her emails, or Benghazi or whatever else Fox News slams her on, this is about a pattern of behavior that makes her look corrupt as shit to many voters. And her policies are no better. Continuing Obama’s policies is a bad decision politically and a disaster in the making with regards to foreign policy and the economy.

I know plenty of people like Obama for being a progressive, well spoken and humanitarian president but he sucks at politics. His Iran deal was poorly made, even Patrick Murphy of Florida, a guy I did a ton of work on for being an inexperienced do-nothing candidate came up with a few tweeks that would’ve made the deal more effective. Obamacare premiums are rising fast and it appears they will only get worse, and I’ve heard a lot of people from the left talking about how bad the premium increases are for their daily lives. Our foreign policy and his “lead from behind” philosophy is a joke, it’s made our allies uncertain of our intentions, weakened our response to enemy threats and emboldened other powers like Russia to make power plays on the global stage.

Moreover Obama overused the executive orders, allowing him to force his policies through in a way which not only sets a bad precedent but goes against the very spirit of our democracy. On the plus side this means many of Obama’s policies can be undone with ease, but the last thing we need is for Trump and the presidents who follow to start cranking out executive orders left and right to see their goals realized. And last of all, understand for as many people want Obama’s policies continued far more people want them reversed for all kinds of reasons.

People typically want change after eight years, Bush had his eight and people wanted new so Obama won, Obama had his eight and now people want something new and Hillary is decidedly not new. Her loss should not have been a big shock. Moreover government as it currently exists, with big political clans and people who stay in office for decades on both sides of the aisle, has become something easy to lose faith in. You wouldn’t believe how many bonuses, benefits and covered expenses politicians have to help make their wallets fatter, and I’m not even talking about the federal big shots, city council men from middle of nowhere California have stupidly lucrative opportunities in politics, opportunities we the taxpayers are paying for even as we the taxpayers are struggling more and more to make ends meet.

As for everyone decrying the loss of all social progress and the rise of the alt-right, calm the fuck down. Trump is not alt-right, especially not on social issues. If anything Democrats should be relieved that Trump is a moderate on social issues, because he’s far more open to gay marriage and abortion than the typical Republican party leader would be. Another thing to consider is that maybe the progressive social policies of the last eight years are too much too fast. I think social progress is good but right now a lot of people are still getting used to certain minorities especially the LGBT community. And sure some people will never get used to those minorities or other minorities, but for those who will, and I think that’s majority especially as younger voters who grew up in a world where these peoples are more socially accepted than in the decades prior come into the mix, an aggressive agenda may backfire. For many right now it can seem like the liberal agenda is being crammed down our throats between the Supreme Court, Obama’s executive orders and the explosion of left leaning social media. And as American’s we hate having other agendas shoved down our throats.

This might seem like cruel and backwards advice to progressives and the minorities, but give it time. Huge social shifts take time but they do come, and they’re coming much faster than they used to. I know America can look racist and backward to those fighting on the farthest edge of the left for the most aggressive social progress (though in fairness the mostly liberal media and the stupidly polarized nature of American politics plays a big role here), but America is gradually moving forward and thanks to social media, the internet and the accumulated social progress achieved thus far, that progress will come faster, so be patient. This is not a call to stop fighting it’s a call to slow down, relax the burning rhetoric, control the social media better to make it seem less like an onslaught to others and just generally be more open and accepting of the people who haven’t come to terms with you and you’re agenda yet. Because frankly as much as the right gets called narrow minded and uninclusive the far left can be just as bad if not worse to those who won’t accept their agenda.

Last but not least, not all of Trump is bad. He may say ridiculous things like we’ll build a wall and make Mexico pay for it but that won’t happen. Instead his economic plan is much more likely to happen and his economic plan is solid. After a decade and half of policies meant to to make business less profitable here in America, and current calls for wage increases like that’ll fix the fucking problem when it just exacerbates it, Trump’s plan will bring jobs back. Businesses need profits and when they have them, they generate enormous tax revenue. Intense regulations, Obamacare and other liberal goals have scared businesses away. By making business here less expensive and placing tariffs on those who ship their jobs overseas, Trump’s plan is inviting business back into America and our economy will thank him for it. The world is experiencing the growing pains of globalization right now, and until we adapt to the global market in ways that don’t cause us to lose millions of jobs and see the median income plummet, we need a strong America-first economy. And raising taxes won’t work, I live in California where taxes are high and our debt just gets worse because the government keeps spending the money no matter how much money we give them, you know in addition to scaring tons of business away thanks to being one of the most heavily regulated states in America.

Look I know people are saying this is the end and America is a land of racists, but have some hope. When the election settles down and the poison of the campaign trail is drained, I think we have an excellent chance of seeing some of the improvements we need. Yes if you’re on the left times look much bleaker, but consider how we on the right felt when Obama was pushing your agenda relentlessly forward and it seemed like we had no voice. What I hope this election shows everyone is that the direction our political system has gone is ass-backwards. Fuck polarized, uncompromising parties who never get anything done, we need people who better bridge the gap by not being far right or far left, and Trump despite how he’s portrayed is more of a moderate than he’s given credit for. So have hope, it could be a brighter four years than you realize.

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Why Statecraft is Dead in the West

I think a lot of people on both sides of the American political spectrum can agree that the last 16 years have been a foreign policy disaster for the US.  Whether it was Bush’s costly Iraq War or Obama’s decision to pull troops out and create vacuum for ISIS to thrive in, leaders on all sides have made some pretty big mistakes and the world is paying the price.  Now there a million different factors behind all of the events of the last 16 years that have created the current foreign policy clusterfuck and America did not have control over many of those, so this is not about assigning blame.  Rather I want to talk about how the current foreign policy mindset of the  majority of modern, industrialized, Western nations is totally fucking failing right now.

There’s been an attitude or maybe atmosphere in of humanitarianism in Western leadership recently, and depending on which part of the West you’re from that atmosphere may have been present for a while now.  It’s even seeped into popular culture, with US in particular seeing an explosive increase in pushes for acceptance and equality for other races, cultures, religions and sexual orientations; the bringing of all people onto a level playing field as human beings if you will.  And that’s fine, you know it’s not a bad ideal to strive for and if it ever does happen you can color me impressed.  However states are not people, people can make just about any effort they want for that ideal with little to no repercussions, states can’t afford to do the same.  See the problem with the current humanitarian mindset is that’s its great on paper, it’s very nice and it would work fantastically if the world were stable and at peace.  However, you may have noticed the world is not stable nor at peace, which means operating foreign policy with a  humanitarian mindset is not so much ahead of of the curve as it is putting the cart before the horse.  You can’t build a world wherein everyone from the West is willing to be understanding of all Muslims and visa versa when there are radical Islamic terrorists killing tons of Muslims and Western people alike, you just can’t do it because the violence will continually justify hatred of that other group.

This is why Russia has been kicking the world’s ass on the international stage over the past few years.  Putin has been operating under a realist mindset and while that pessimistic view of the world isn’t as nice or ideal as a humanitarian view, right now it’s the one that’s working.  Putin has taken Crimea, he’s essentially taken part of Ukraine, he’s bombed any potential US-friendly Syrian rebels (not that those ever likely existed in serious numbers) to dust and kept Assad in power, ensuring that Russia has an ally in the region and as long as ISIS is around Russia will have a reason to continue exerting it’s influence in the Middle East.  Now I’m sure some people see that and think what a great humanitarian crime it is, how awful it is both as moral decisions and for the people suffering from those decisions and it is that, but it’s also brilliant statecraft.  After a few decades of being the butt of “In Soviet Russia” jokes Russia has stepped and shown itself to be a decisive and involved world power, and it’s getting away with it because the best we seem to be able to do in return in make threats and impose sanctions, maybe, sometimes.  That because Putin understands that states aren’t people and you shouldn’t run a state, especially in the foreign policy arena, as if it were human, instead it makes more sense to run it as though you were playing a game, trying to get all the bonuses and odds in your favor.  This is what Russia is doing and for as much outcry as the West has for “Putin’s barbarism” do you think Russia gives a shit?  Thanks to Putin’s aggressive game plan Russia’s situation has significantly improved over the last couple of years.

See this is the thing, and I know this will sound horrible to some people, states should not give a fuck about people beyond those who interests it is in to protect.  Now that is horrible and apathetic, but it’s true.  See the bigger something is the less it cares about you, the tiny individual person, and states don’t have to care about anyone of they don’t want to.  Now states do care about many people, it’s citizens, leadership, the people of key allied nations, etc. because it is in the state’s interests to care about those people.  Now in the humanitarian ideal, a state should care about everyone and do as little harm to anyone as possible.  And that’s nice and it would work if our world was full of nice and understanding people and violence was kept to a minimum.  Unfortunately the world is much dirtier, hateful and more violent than that so the humanitarian view is not very helpful at  this stage of the game.  Now look, none of this to say embracing humanitarian projects, aid or anything like isn’t helping, because that is ultimately going to be the foundation for building a global community.  But it can be hard for that aid to be effective when say ISIS is running rampant in the region beheading people.  So states, they need to be more grim, amoral and realistic in how they view the world and act accordingly.  Because as shitty as that sounds it will result in better short term policies and set the foundation for better long term policies.

A lot of liberal, humanitarian types will argue that if we do an evil thing now it will come back to haunt us later.  This argument has two problems, one, it doesn’t matter what the consequences might eventually be if the consequences of note doing anything now are bad enough, and two, it’s not necessarily true.  We beat the piss out of Nazi Germany and Japan in WWII, we dropped a pair of nukes and killed thousands of soldiers of civilians in both nations and what do we have today, a pair of nations who are pro-US, industrial powerhouses with decent if not great economies who are well positioned to check the advances of potential threats like Russia and China.  Where are the evil consequences coming back to haunt us exactly?  Contrary to popular liberal belief violence and even certain facets of Imperialism can be used for good.  A lot of civilization spread due to violence in the ancient world and even in the modern world we can see civilization spring from violence, conquest and a lot of things many liberals blame the current state of world on.  So the question becomes then, if the consequences of violence are vastly overstated, and it has the potential to fix the problem long term and short term, why aren’t we being violent when we have too?

Massive cultural shifts in global politics and organizations like UN is why.  See today many Western nations have been repeatedly told to feel bad for the evils of Colonialism and Imperialism and to be progressive and accepting of others now.  And that’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with being progressive or admitting that yes terrible things happened during the ages of Colonialism and Imperialism.  But it informs our use of violence and how we wage war.  In the past when nations warred you usually warred because the aggressor had something to gain like security, land, food, gold, or any other kind of resource.  With exception of Russia in recent years  we’ve mainly stopped doing that.  Some nations like China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Japan will squabble over tiny spits of land to slowly increase their territory but no one’s stolen major tracts of land since Russia, and ISIS, in ages.  In the past the spoils of conquest helped pay for the fucking war, which is part of why Iraq was so expensive for the US, we didn’t grab a ton of oil as war reparations.  Because the humanitarian nations of the world don’t fight wars like we used, fighting war has become exponentially more expensive and more challenging and it shows in our reluctance to do violence, even when violence is exactly what we need.  To reiterate, I’m not advocating using more violence when we don’t need it, I’m saying that when we come across a nation like ISIS, which slaughters millions of innocents, then that’s when we should go in whole hog, bring out the big guns and show how you can use violence for a constructive purpose, because while violence is used break a country, it can also be the foundation for rebuilding it into something better, extra emphasis on the can.

This is the reason Russia is making the US look weak and foolish on the international stage because it’s behaving like a realist state and using violence as basis for expanding it’s resources, territory and influence, it’s using violence as the base upon which to build a better Russia, our own efforts are laughably bad by comparison.  Libya is now an ISIS stronghold now that we helped remove Qaddafi, Syria has been plunged into chaos and allowed ISIS to grow because we made efforts to support rebels that likely never existed as we pictured than and probably don’t exist anymore thanks to Russian bombings.  We’ve spent trillions and have almost nothing to show for it, Russia’s spent less and has much more to show for it.  So we need to change our approach, we need to be more realistic and we have to be prepare to use violence in the pursuit of national interests and use it as smartly as possible.

If I were advising the next President on foreign policy my advice would be as follows:

-As part of our plan to stop ISIS we formally recognize Kurdistan as a nation and give them weapons directly because our current process of handing them through the Iraqi government means they’re more likely to fall into ISIS’s hands than the Kurds’ and the Kurds are doing the best against ISIS on the ground right now.  As part of this agreement make a concession to Turkey by requiring that the nation of Kurdistan will only be recognized within the land it controls in what is currently Iraq and Syria and Kurdish parts of Turkey will remain Turkish in perpetuity.  Also make it clear to Russia that we will not tolerate Russia bombing the Kurds the way we’ve let them bomb the supposedly good rebels in Syria.

-Support Egypt or another North African nation in eliminating rebels, tell whatever nation you support that they can have Libya, you’ll even bomb it to make way for their invasion, and it’s profitable oil so long as the US gets a base or two in the region, and ideally some oil to help pay for costs.  This way you make and empower an ally in the region, destroy a major terrorist hot spot, get local military resources and maybe even some oil to pay for the cost of aid.

-Reaffirm our support for Israel and pledge to attack Iran with extreme prejudice if Iran should ever attack Israel.

-Make similar arrangements to those shown above with nations having terrorist problem or nations neighboring the problem country to eliminate organizations like Boko Haram, Hezbollah, the Taliban, etc. and build local allies in the region.

Because this is how statecraft works, you make alliances with the people you can trust, even if you don’t like them, to maximize the benefits to your own security and resources, and when the people you are fighting against have been defeated, then consider rebuilding that country like we did with Germany and Japan after WWII to make the who region more stable and modern.  And sadly in our current, progressive, humanitarian stance on global politics, we will never be good at statecraft unless almost the whole world joins that same viewpoint.

It’s Time to Stop Playing the Victim

Over the past few years a lot of Americans have accused a lot of other Americans of playing the victim or feeding into the mindset of victimology.  And by and large, I feel, the accusers are in the right.  There are of course all kinds of real victims suffering from serious problems but as of late there has been a thoroughly annoying cultural attitude that it’s somehow heroic and cool to be the victim, to be the underprivileged, and I have to say anyone who buys into that without being a genuine victim is a fucking moron.  Warning, this rant will probably only seem to get more and more unfair as I go along but do bear with me if you can.

For a while I just couldn’t understand why anyone would want to be a victim.  Hell I still don’t really get it.  I mean it certainly does make it easy to sit around on your ass and do nothing, if you choose to identify yourself as someone being repressed by the Man, it’s easy to moan and bitch about how hard life is, without actually doing anything to improve it, when you play the victim.  But aside from an easy justification for being angry and lazy why would anyone want to be the victim?  Do you genuinely feel as though the system is rigged against you no matter what you do and have given up on seeing it change?  Do you think you will receive more support or maybe get treated better if you play the victim?  I don’t know, because I would never want to be a victim.  But forget the why, what’s the net effect of all these victims, both the real ones and self identified ones?  An America where we are consumed by a negative outlook on everything.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty to be negative about, but sometimes we collectively are so negative that we forget to look at the positive changes we’ve undergone.  The social progress we’ve made in the last 6 or 7 decades is nothing short of astounding, and during the last few years in particular, progressive have pushed for a more and more social progress with reasonable success.  Now I would argue some of the social progress we’ve made recently has been imposed on the many by the few, and that maybe by pushing so much so fast progressives have brought a huge backlash on themselves by upsetting people who aren’t ready for their agenda, but still progress has been made.  I mean we are having arguments about trans people in restrooms now, that would been unimaginable a decade ago.

This overly negative view manifests itself in all kinds of places.  For example school shootings are getting so much news coverage that they seem like a weekly occurrence but overall violent crime has been going down in the US for a while now, despite all the supposed violent gun nuts many media outlets and politicians tells us to be wary of (yes they exist but the media vastly overstates their prevalence in the populace).  Perhaps the most damning place this negativity manifests though, is in what some like to call the liberal narrative.  The liberal narrative is the general consensus within the media and many liberal institutions of how events in history are portrayed and understood and how those shape current events.  The problem is that it’s kind of fucking bullshit.  History is a complex beast and trying to make sweeping generalizations about it will basically always be wrong.  More to the point, history does not operate in a narrative fashion.  Narratives are largely regimented, they come from limited points of view, showcase events as understood by those few points of view and string all these events together in a way that makes sense and is easy to understand.  History is precisely none of those things, if anything it’s pure chaos.  And as such, almost every generalization made about the past is laughably incorrect.

For example, the Dark Ages is commonly known term describing a period in history where Europe went full barbarian and we lost many accomplishments of civilization after Rome fell.  Total bullshit, Europe may have lost some valuable Roman innovations for sure, but it did not fall into barbarism, in fact many important advances sprung out of the Dark Ages, a term which actual scholars of history don’t and have never used because of how misleading it is.  For instance, Carolingian Minuscule was invented in the Dark Ages.  For those who don’t know, Carolingian Minuscule was the first standardized writing style in Europe.  Before Carolingian Minuscule there were no set rules about grammar, punctuation, script size, or anything, it was anything goes.  Carolingian Minuscule is among the most important developments in writing and academics in European history, and yet it’s not talked about often the way say the printing press is, because it flies in the face of the liberal narrative about the Dark Ages.

To tell you truth I could make paragraphs like the last one forever because of all the generalizations, general misunderstandings, lack of accurate scholarly discussion in the media, misinformation because of cultural differences and general need to get a narrative and headlines in place which supersedes the need to be accurate.   But I want to return to the negativity and why America collectively is viewing things wrong.  Let’s jump right into the controversy, the Big Bad White Man the liberal narrative is so obsessed with proclaiming as the source of all evils, does not exist as the liberal narrative understands him.  Yes there have been evil, terrible white men since forever.  But he’s not the only source of evil here.  Let’s explore the troubled history of America.  One of the more common conceptions of history is that we, the Big Bad White Men, stole America from the Native Americans.  And yes that’s true in a broad sense, white people took land from Native Americans.  However the problem is how both sides are portrayed.  In the liberal narrative, which feeds into the perceived nobility of playing the victim, the White Man is the terrible aggressor, gunning down Native Americans, taking their land and eventually destroying the environment.  By comparison Native Americans are usually portrayed as being relatively peaceful and in tune with nature, preserving the environment which the White Man would destroy.  Mostly bullshit.  For starters this portrayal seems to assume that all Native Americans can be classified under the same bracket because they have enough common traits, this is not even remotely true.  The various Native American peoples had and continue to have many differences based on where they lived and such.  Moreover the conflict was never the White Man versus the Native American, it was a bunch of Native Americans tribes fighting each other constantly, while also fighting the different nations of Europe and later the US who tried to colonize America.

If anything the most negative takeaway from the US and Indian wars should be that, even in the face of a larger, greater threat the disparate bands of Native Americans could not set aside their differences and unite to push back the invaders, like humanity always does in alien invasion movies.  That’s a pretty depressing realization.  Now look I’m not saying this because I think modern Native Americans have it good or have it easy and should stop asking for better, they are one of the groups most thoroughly shafted by the US at the moment and deserve more attention and support.  Instead I’m trying to illustrate the absurd folly of the liberal narrative, about how shallow and unhelpful that narrative is when it comes to understanding the complexities of the situation, and by extension why it’s time people stop buying into it.  The problem with the liberal narrative is that it gives people such a basic and incomplete understanding of a topic that you might genuinely be better off knowing nothing at all than only knowing the liberal narrative and thinking that means you know the topic well.  Here’s another controversial example, slavery.

This is going to sound weird, but people are looking at slavery the wrong way.  You’re probably wondering how that’s possible, how can slavery be anything but bad and how can it’s legacy be anything but bad?  Well slavery is bad and it has left us stuck with an annoying and terrible legacy called racism but that’s not why people are looking at slavery wrong.  They’re looking at it wrong because they are focused on a narrow and incomplete understanding of slavery as provided to them by the liberal narrative.  In the liberal narrative, the Big Bad White Man bought and sold Black people and did all sorts of terrible things to them.  And that’s true but again it tells such a small part of the story it might as well be useless.  Trans-Atlantic slave trade 101: White people are only one part of the equation.  In the liberal narrative White men have all agency and Black people are just victims.  But reality is more complicated, because a large portion of the slavers where not White, they were Black.  While there is no doubt some White men raided African lands and kidnapped people into slavery, it was far more common for White slavers to buy slaves from local African slavers, who knew the land better and had more local supplies.  In common practice African slavers would capture other Africans and then sell those slaves to White slavers who then sold them to other White men, which makes White slavers the middlemen of the worst trade deals in history.  That may sound depressing to some of you, the idea that Africans would enslave and sell their own and on some level it is sad.  But it also speaks to African agency, it proves that not all Blacks were victims in a world controlled by White men and that’s a far more valuable lesson than anything you’ll get from the liberal narrative.

Now let’s look even more broadly at slavery.  It’s done as a large scale industry.  Yes there are still forms of slavery and a sex slave trade and both of these problems need addressing but on a large, international scale, slavery as it is was in the past is done and will never be back unless all of modern civilization falls.  Now that’s a pretty big achievement if you think about it, 200+ years of an inhumane trade overturned and abolished worldwide.  Except the achievement is so much bigger than that.  Because slavery is not just 200+ years old, it’s at least as old as civilization itself and possibly even older.  Egypt for example is famous for having tons of slaves to build the pyramids, which means slavery has been around for 5,000+ years not a mere 200+ years.  Now think about that, within the relatively short history of the US, we have seen the complete downfall of a major industry that has persisted since the dawn of civilization and maybe before.  How earth-shattering is that, that the modern world has advanced to the point where an industry that has existed since basically forever is gone?  That’s a big achievement.  And yet in America the most common attitude to towards slavery from a lot of liberal organizations and people is that the White men ought to apologize and feel bad for what our great-great-great-great granddaddies did to the great-great-great-great-grandsons of former slaves, despite the fact neither of the modern parties has ever experienced or participated in slavery at all.  It’s fucking absurd.  We should be teaching our children about how the evil slave trade is finally gone, after thousands of years of progress, but instead we seem to encourage letting it’s evil fester and divide us the way we teach it now.

This is where the liberal narrative really gets toxic.  It strings together huge swathes of history with the same us vs them message, where them is almost always taken to mean White men.  By perpetually showcasing history as us vs them, the liberal narrative highlights the divide between people, rather than brings them together.  It encourages us to look at things negatively, to expect apologies from the privileged and to be proud of our own underprivileged struggles.  It lionizes the struggles of the victims and encourages us to play victims ourselves, I mean you wouldn’t want to be in that them camp all of us are against would you?  And fuck is it annoying to deal with when you do so happen to belong to that them camp and can’t do anything about it.  None of this is to say that we shouldn’t keep fighting for better, that we shouldn’t be doing all we can to make the US a fairer place for everyone.  But we’re being too confrontational about it.  Because the liberal narrative, which is most of what a lot of people know, exacerbates conflict between the haves and have-nots.  Take police brutality for example.  Ideally the conversation should be about what kind of vetting process can we make to help lower corruption among police officers and what kind of changes should we make to their training to reduce violent incidents.  But in confrontational America the conversation is almost always one side screaming at the other about “racist cops” and “that disrespectful kid/crook had it coming” and no one takes any steps to fix the problem beyond putting even more pressure on police officers who have enough shit to deal with already.

And worst of all, there are a lot of genuinely good people in that them camp who feel like they’re being backed into a corner.  I know I feel that way sometimes, when what I am gets attacked all over the internet for just being a White man or for the crimes other White men committed when I personally haven’t done anything.  Even if you can tune a lot of it out like me, it just gets fucking exhausting to see all the anti-White men shit out there on the internet.  This is even evident in common progressive phrases, you remember “check your privilege” right?  It should have been called something like “Understanding the differences between a white upbringing and a (insert ethnicity here) upbringing.”  Instead we got the more aggressive, more confrontational “check your privilege” and man did a lot of White people lash out against it.  And I wasn’t one of them, because I had someone explain to me in a very reasonable, very clear way what white privilege was, and I got it.  But it’s because I understand what it is that I felt “check your privilege” was so misguided, the best way to fight white privilege would have been to get people to understand what it means and then find out who’s willing to work with you on fixing the problem.  Instead we got a bunch of people angrily calling on Whites to “check their privilege” and a bunch of White angrily replying “Fuck you, we have no privilege, get over yourselves you whiny bastards,” so no substantive progress was made.

Look the reason I’m calling on people to stop playing the victim is not because I want to “go back to the good old days” or because I want to hide or repress the many problems we have in America.  I’m calling on you to stop playing the victim for your own sake’s, to treat yourselves with a bit more dignity and respect.  Because rather than perpetuating an us vs them fight to push social progress forward, I think we collectively would get more done if we approached other on more calm and level footing, and just explained to each other what our various problems are and what we can do to fix them.  There’s this old quote from the Greek philosopher Thucydides that goes: “Self-control is the chief element in self-respect, and self-respect is the chief element in courage.”  Major societal change takes courage and unity to achieve, and self-control and self-respect are vital to both, an aggressive confrontational attitude will not help you achieve either.  It’s time for people in America to stop playing the victim, and start coming together to get things done.

The Intolerance of Radical Tolerants

Let’s start this post by laying out everything I think about tolerance and proponents of tolerance before I start ranting.  There is nothing wrong with desiring or pushing for more tolerance.  In fact, on its own in a contextless vacuum, the promotion of tolerance for all different types of people is a good thing, a noble ideal if you will.  Therefore I have no bone to pick with tolerance in particular, though I admit I cannot stand the way many Tolerants (proponents of tolerance) are trying to stop the use of certain words because word choice is an important part of personal expression in writing, speaking and art.  Also I really like being to say something how I want to say it, I feel no need to tone my language down if I want to make a point.  But I digress.  My main issue with tolerance and Tolerants, is not with the ideals but with the execution.  Now to be fair some Tolerants are extremely respectful, dedicated and all around great people, and absolutely none of the criticisms of Tolerants I’m about to write are directed at them.  I take issue with what I call Radical Tolerants, idiots who are so concerned that everything should be tolerant that they refuse to accept any other point of view.  The weight of the irony of the hypocrisy of this group of morons is so heavy it is literally crushing popular culture and societal interaction.

Let’s start with a simple and innocent example.  Recently the movie Peanuts came out, bring Charlie Brown and friends to the big screen.  The movie was inexplicably slammed by some Radical Tolerants, who went so far as to make a CharlieisRacist hashtag on Twitter, because Charlie was in love with a white girl not a black girl.  If you’re rolling your eyes you are having the appropriate reaction.  Let’s do some basic exposition.  Peanuts was written in the 1950’s back when interracial relationships were extremely frowned upon.  In 70’s Peanuts included its first black character following the success of the Civil Rights movement in the 60’s.  And Charlie Brown has loved the same red-haired white girl since the 50’s.  Now let’s get to the shit storm.  First and foremost there is NOTHING wrong or even remotely racist with a relationship between two white people.  There is NOTHING wrong with a heterosexual relationship, white, interracial or otherwise.  And there is certainly NOTHING wrong with a cartoon from the 50’s depicting relationships considered normal in the 50’s.  So Charlie Brown is not only not a racist, he is the one facing unfair repression by bigots.  Yes you read that correctly, Radical Tolerants are bigots.  Typically the term bigot is associated with people who are racist or unwilling to be tolerant and progressive, however it applies to Radical Tolerants too.  Because in their quest to make sure everything in the world is tolerant and sensitive to other people, they attack and reject any portrayal or viewpoint of anything that fails to live up to their vision of tolerance.  In other words, the Radical Tolerants are just as intolerant as the fucking KKK, they just represent the progressive end of the social spectrum.  Actually if you think about it, the Radical Tolerants are worse than the KKK, at least the KKK has the decency to practice its intolerance in relative secrecy and not demand that the entire world be racist with them.  Which brings me to my next point.

Radical Tolerants are doing more to propagate racism than actual racists.  Now in case I haven’t made this clear, I do not think of myself as a racist (and it will take a lot of work to convince me I am) nor do I support racism.  However I can’t help but notice that most racists keep their racism to themselves or in private spaces (please keep in mind this was written before Trump was sure to win the Republican nominee and many racists came out of the woodwork).  This does not in any way make them good people, but they aren’t spreading their intolerance in massive sweeping strides because they know they would get ostracized for it.  Now there are exceptions of course, like the Westboro Baptist Church, another group I wholeheartedly hate, but these exceptions are relatively few and far between.  Which is what makes the Radical Tolerants so fucking irritating.  The Radical Tolerants believe they are in the right morally speaking, and to be fair their views are more socially acceptable than actual racism.  This means none of them are afraid of spouting some of the most ridiculous nonsense, in the name of their cause, because they have quite a bit of mainstream support.  This really becomes an issue when these idiots make every conversation one about race.  Now I’m not opposed to conversations about race, but I think the overwhelming majority of these conversations should be handled in private and should be focused on helping people understand the all the ways race can separate us.  What Tolerants should be doing is convincing their friends and neighbors to be more understanding and tolerant, thereby allowing it to spread gradually.  But asking all of America to do it at all once is fucking retarded.  Instead by making every fucking event a race issue, the Radical Tolerants are deepening the divide between different races.  It’s kind of like Black History Month.  Objectively Black History Month is a political concession given to black people for all the terrible things white people did to them.  It might seem like a nice gesture, but really it just exacerbates the problem, further drawing attention to the divide between blacks and whites.  What should have been done was this:  Rather than draw attention to the division between whites and blacks by making Black History Month, they should have given black history more prominence in school.  They should have put extra effort into teaching history from the perspectives of both whites and blacks, and shown black agency in history to bring everyone onto a more level playing field.  Nope instead we have history sometimes called The White Man’s story (at least here in America) and Black History Month aka that time where we give some recognition to blacks separate from “normal” history.  Radical Tolerants do the same thing, they exacerbate the problem they are trying to solve because they refuse to view both sides equally and instead highlight their differences.

Now there’s nothing wrong per se with drawing attention to inequality.  After all the Civil Rights Movement only gained approval after “separate but equal” segregation policies proved to be wildly unequal.  The problem starts when rather than finding real instances of inequality, Radical Tolerants make everything about inequality.  Let’s go back to Charlie Brown.  As I discussed above, nothing about the Peanuts movie and Charlie’s decision to love a white girl is racist or intolerant.  Yet the Radical Intolerants believe he should be going after a girl of color.  This is where I start to get real fucking pissed.  If Tolerants asked why a new cartoon, as in one coming out in 2015, didn’t have an interracial relationship, I would still think they are being overly sensitive but I wouldn’t be mad at them. It is ok to demand that modern stories be more representative of a modern world and modern sensibilities, that is both reasonable and in keeping with the noble cause of tolerance.  I don’t think you should force anyone to change their story if you don’t find it tolerant enough, because that is being intolerant yourself, but asking for modern people to consider showcasing tolerance in their new stories is a worthwhile pursuit.  But then we get to Charlie Brown.  These fucking morons are demanding that a cartoon from the 50’s be remade to reflect modernity.  There two major reasons why this pisses me off.  One it’s stupid as fuck to demand a 50’s story showcase the world and sensibilities of 2015.  Two, nothing should be censored so these sensitive Radical Tolerants can feel comfortable.  Peanuts is the author’s story, not ours.  He should not have his stories censored and changed so someone else can feel comfortable, especially when you consider that he’s dead.  If we censor away all other points of view then what kind of tolerance do we have?  A false one, a fake little world that showcases it’s inclusivity by seeing no evil, hearing no evil and speaking no evil but never actually doing any good.

With regards to art and censorship, Radical Tolerants, who again are fucking morons, need to understand that any piece of art is something that belongs to the artist, not to them.  They can question the artist as to why he or she didn’t make their art more inclusive, but they should not lambaste the artist for their decision let alone demand that their art be changed to suit the “tolerant” sensibilities.  There’s a guy on Youtube called Jim Sterling, and I think he put it best.  In an episode where he covered Grand Theft Auto’s decision to have 3 male protagonists and no female protagonists, he said some to the effect of: Artists should not be forced to include characters they are not interested in writing, and forcing artists to cynically include a character in a story that the artist doesn’t want to make won’t be good for anyone.  If these Radical Tolerants are so eager to see stories that deal with characters of differing races, religions and sexual orientations they should go out and fucking make them, or sponsor the people who are making such stories.  There are such options in this world, but no these dipshits won’t pursue them because that involves actual effort and thought, instead they will demand that everyone else change all their stories to suit the Radical Tolerants’ tastes like spoilt children demanding that they get to use that one toy in day care.  It’s fucking pathetic to see adults, adults who see themselves as the moral superiors of the country no less, acting like the most selfish and undignified of children.  Let me be loud and clear:  Tolerance means being accepting of everyone, you don’t have to like people who write stories where white boys fall in love with white girls, but you have to accept them and their work as valid.  To do otherwise is to be just another type of intolerant bigot, one so deluded in their quest for tolerance that they can’t even see their own bigotry.

The Internet and Mob Justice

Now I don’t think I need to argue that mob justice is bad.  Sure the legal system can fail every now and again, corruption is a thing, and sometimes the bad guy, or girl, wins the day.  However mob justice is terrible, frankly it usually causes more damage than any actual crime or act of corruption that might spark mob justice in the first place.  My big issue with mob justice is how easy it can start with today’s technology, and even more importantly how easy it is to manipulate mob justice now.  We just saw this with the Ben Fields case.  Regardless of your position on the issues, whether Fields is the bad guy or the girl is at fault, there is no denying that there was some serious manipulation in play as far as the viral video is concerned.  There are currently 3 videos of the incident, that I’m aware of, and the first one, the one that went viral showed a very biased and incomplete picture of the incident, deliberately framed so as to get Fields fired.  I don’t know whether the video was maliciously edited or if it was really bad luck, though I suspect the former, but regardless people on the internet exploded and Fields got fired.  Then evidence surfaced that the girl hit Fields before thrown to the ground, then another video which suggest Fields didn’t even throw her to the ground but that it was consequence of her own movements.  Frankly between the two videos I don’t care which is true, or more accurate, though I acknowledge that the latter would be better for Fields.  Now a certain swathe of society sees one of the following or a combination thereof: white cop beating black girl or grown man beating teen girl.  To these people, I suspect it matters not at all that the girl hit first, to them Fields’ behavior is either racist or crossing the line or both.  I’m not one of those people.  To me the fact this girl attacked Fields at all means she earned whatever was coming to her.  But let’s move away from any one event and look at the bigger picture.

Now in the past when someone tried to pull this kind of shit it was hard because you had to physically round up and fire up your mob.  Today you can release an incomplete video and stir up the whole fucking country from the safety of your chair.  This has two massive side effects.  It allows “we the people” here meaning we the people who are outraged by this event to judge any public employee and force a sentence on him/her without proper legal examination.  And the relative safety of the new mob justice means more dipshits are feeling empowered and emboldened.  So way to go stupid people, you the morons screaming about discrimination (which for the record is a real issue and one I take seriously), are effectively stripping people of their rights so that you can see your twisted view of justice served.  Truly, your hypocrisy and idiocy are so blatant it’s almost impressive.  And if you’re wondering how these internet mobs can force say a police department to fire someone like Fields, I kindly direct you to the Ferguson riots, where dipshits looted, robbed and caused property damage to the innocent civilians of the town over police behavior.  People have power, and right about now they are abusing it, at least with regards to punishing cops.  I’m not saying there is no police corruption, or that police shouldn’t be monitored to some degree to prevent corruption.  But right now some people are using the idea of monitoring the police and twisting it into “how do we catch the cops fucking up so we can get back at them”.  And sometimes they catch the bad cops, other times they edit their videos to make cops into villains when they aren’t.

As for what to do about the problem, I’m not sure there is anything we can do.  There will always be people trying to paint the police as bad guys, whether they’ve earned it or not.  Likewise there will always be stupid, or maybe just gullible fuckers out there who get offended when they see a video like the original Fields video.  All I can do is encourage people to think about what they see and take time to carefully consider what is genuine before they act, swift decisive action might get something done but it can also get something very wrong, slow down and wait until you have more information before you act.  It’s just sad as fuck that we are entering an era where we literally can’t even believe what we see anymore, thanks to the ease of malicious editing used to twist public perception of events.

Why Raising the Minimum Wage is Stupid

Now more than ever, at least since the Great Depression, Americans are struggling.  We made it through the recession and the economy is on the rise but many working class Americans are complaining that they aren’t making enough money to get by.  Many are working minimum wage jobs and need welfare from the government to get by.  So some brilliant *add so much sarcasm that the word literally begins to drip with it* people decided that maybe if we raised the minimum wage, the problem would go away and Americans could be happy.  And so it was that Seattle boldly implemented a $15 minimum wage.  The results were swift and sudden, employers laid some people off, talked about cutting worker benefits, and all those eager workers went up to their bosses saying they wanted to work fewer hours because the $8 wage plus welfare was better than the $15 wage without the welfare.  Wow… talk about a pathetic showing, those advocating minimum wage raises don’t look so great now.  The real question I’m sure some of you are asking, is why did raising the minimum wage fail?  Why can’t we pay people more to get them out of poverty?  Well it’s complicated…

Let me start this explanation by disclosing that I am in no way a finance expert.  I don’t run a business, I have no training as an accountant or a degree in Econ or Business.  I don’t even have a fucking full time job, I’m doing $15 an hour TEMP WORK at full time hours for a few weeks.  I’m a college grad with a BA in History, not exactly the kind of person you would turn to explain this kind of shit.  But stick with me here, because what I do have is a lot training in critical thinking, analysis and looking at the big picture.  Also I did a year-long stint at a major California tax agency so I have seen a lot of people fuck up their finances or get screwed by tax laws in one way or another.  You see, the problem with the people demanding the minimum wage be raised is that they are idiots.  They are looking at finance like it’s high school algebra and all they have to is solve for X.  But in reality finance is way complex, hence why people need training in it to be successful.  To keep it in terms of my math metaphor, finance is not simple algebra it’s a multi-variable equation, solving for X will not do shit unless you solve for the other variables too.  And look, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to start by solving for X, but you have to put in the work to figure the rest of the equation or else it ends up like the failure in Seattle.  If you’re serious about finding the minimum wage that keeps Americans out of poverty, you have to consider other factors.  You have to think about how that will increase the operating expenses of businesses, and whether they can afford to keep the same number of employees at that pay rate ideally without cutting some of their benefits.  Contrary to the beliefs of so many idiots, businesses, even the huge ones run by people in the 1%, don’t have infinite money.  If you send them a higher bill they will find a way to save money, either by lay-offs or benefit cuts, because that is what allows them to grow.  And in America companies are all about maximizing growth.

Another factor to consider is welfare.  People in Seattle wanted their welfare because the welfare, combined with an $8 minimum wage, got them more than $15 an hour would alone.  I’m not going to delve into all the problems and benefits of welfare here, but regardless of your view on it, it and all its accompanying costs are factors to consider.  My biggest concern is that welfare in most states currently incentivizes people to not work because as much as people struggling with poverty hate this phrase, our welfare benefits are generous, more generous than working $15 an hour and losing the benefits in Seattle’s case.  And while the situation is not the same everywhere, many states do have generous welfare benefits that a wage increase will rob people of.  Until they start getting paid enough to the point where their wages outweigh the current minimum wage AND its welfare benefits, they will likely not want to lose their benefits.  And you can’t just raise the wages to that level because there’s no way employers, would handle that large a cost increase without major repercussions.  Moreover, welfare dependence traps people in poverty in terrible cycle of negativity.  If you don’t want to lose the welfare benefits, you won’t work enough hours or at a high enough pay rate to make enough income to stop qualifying for the benefits, which means you can’t break out of poverty because you aren’t making enough money to break out of poverty, but you won’t find better work because then you lose the benefits which make poverty survivable, and so on to infinity.  I don’t know how to fix welfare issues nor do I pretend to know, all I can say is allowing such a large percentage of Americans to rely on it is not healthy for the people on it or the economy.

Look, I get that people are struggling and some of those people want a fast easy solution.  But life as an adult is all complicated and messy, I think that’s part of what it means to be an adult, to understand you are living a messy life without a lot of simple answers and clear directions to take.  What people need to do is take the time to learn about the all the parts of anything they want done.  It is easy to scream “We want a higher minimum wage” until you get it and then call it quits.  It’s hard to craft a proposal that takes a comprehensive approach to finance reform, but in all likelihood that’s exactly what’s needed.  Luckily that’s a burden it’s unlikely any one person would have to bear, the beauty of a country with a lot of educated people is that we have experts who each take one on variable of the finance problem and then we have other people who can bring those experts together to make adjustments for each other’s work.  But if you really want an issue addressed you owe it to yourself to get educated about it.  You owe it yourself to know as many of the related issues and proposed solutions as you can manage, so you know who makes the best suggestions to fix the problem.  To do anything less is a willful refusal to accept the inherent responsibility that comes with a right to vote.  The people who just demand higher wages are idiots and they are lazy.  Oh sure some of them might work hard at their jobs, maybe they look active on the surface, but in the places where it counts they are lazy, in their hearts and minds they are lazy.  And until they make the effort to stop being lazy, their solutions will fail, just like raising the minimum wage to $15 did in Seattle.