Tuesday, December 24, 2019

For Under Your Op-Ed Tree

     Apologies for the spotty posting, Gentle Reader. I’m grateful that my Co-Conspirators Linda Fox and Colonel Bunny have kept the place hopping, because I’ve been mired in a morass of difficulties, the details of which I’ll spare you. And of course, tomorrow being Christmas Day, I’ll be celebrating rather than blogging. So have one more “assorted” column, nicely boxed in glittery red and green Christmas bunting, before I hit the eggnog.

1. Bitten Biters Bite Back.

     My Futanari novels were, in part, an exploration of the “transgender” phenomenon and its ramifications. They’ve elicited a variety of questions from a number of readers, the most common of which is this one or a reasonable facsimile thereof: “Do you think a transwoman is a woman in truth?”

     I allowed Holly Martinowski, a character in The Wise and the Mad, to answer that question in my stead:

     [Walsingham] nodded. “It is a disorder, you know. A man once born cannot become a woman in truth.”
     “Agreed,” Holly said. “Yet it is not impossible for one born a man to present as a woman. Hormones, minor surgery, cosmetics, and diligent study of the personalities and mannerisms of women will suffice for those who already have feminine inclinations and aspects of appearance.

     Those are my sentiments: If you can convincingly present yourself as the sex opposite to your birth sex, and if you conduct yourself in a manner appropriate to that presentation, you’ll have no trouble with me. Just don’t violate the penile penal code and we’ll get along fine. Problems arise from the politicization of transgenderism, not from das Ding an Sich.

     This morning a story from Britain demonstrates that politicization can cut many ways:

     A transgender woman facing disciplinary action over a T-shirt stating that she is still biologically a man has been accused of “hate speech”.

     Debbie Hayton, a physics teacher in the Midlands, lives as a transgender women after changing her gender from male to female in 2012. But unlike many people in the trans-community, she does not believe her sex can be changed and is vocal about the fact that she will always biologically remain a man.

     She is now potentially facing expulsion from the LGBT committee of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) for wearing a top adorned with the slogan: “Trans women are men. Get over it!”

     Talk about bearding the lion in its den! Hayton has chosen a provocative way of expressing an opinion many of us (including Holly Martinowski and I) share. As she is genetically male but has chosen to present as a woman, it’s a poke in the eye to other Britons who have made a similar choice.

     I’d call this unwise. However, by eliciting the ire of persons who “should” have been her supporters, Hayton has dramatized the hazards involved in allowing what could have been an entirely private decision to become a matter for public discourse. That makes it a public service of sorts. As always, your opinion may vary.

2. Cold Cash Conservatism.

     The consistent defense by “Conservatism Inc.” of Big Tech’s practice of silencing conservative opinion remains a hot topic. Ace rings in on one of its tawdrier aspects:

     First of all, all conservatives believe that economic incentives change behavior. That belief is the fundamental premise upon which every single tax-reform plan stands: that if we change the incentives towards socially benevolent behavior (like getting and staying married, like buying and keeping a home), we will get more of that behavior.

     But the same people who depend on this basic assumption for all their articles and white papers and propaganda efforts deny its existence when it comes to their own incentives and behavior.

     So, Google is funneling money to us and paying our salaries and making our fundraising dinners possible? So what? Those economic incentives don't change our behavior, not one whit!

     Oh really? Google is putting money directly into your pockets and you claim that does not change your behavior with regard to Google at all?

     Then what the hell are you always prattling on about regarding small rejiggerings of tax incentives and disincentives? If someone giving you Free Money, directly into your organizational accounts, and indirectly into the personal accounts of your writers and "thinkers" does not influence behavior or attitudes, what the hell difference will a 1.5% penalty make as far as marriage rates?

     If a politician told you that taking tens of thousands of dollars, or even hundreds of thousands or millions, from an industry pressure group did not affect their attitude towards that group at all, would you believe them?

     Of course not.

     But these second-order-politicians -- the politicians of paper -- claim that they can take any amount of dollars from Google and that won't affect their willingness to shill for Google at all.

     Get bent, liars.

     Ace delivers some telling blows in the above. However, his first step is something of a misstep: While an economic incentive can influence behavior, especially when regarded statistically, it is not capable of determining behavior in an individual instance.

     Here’s an example for you: Do you love your wife, Mister Gentle Reader? You do? Then how much money would it take to persuade you to kill her? What’s that? You’d never do such a thing? I salute you; I feel the same. So in this individual instance, the economic incentive of a large cash payment could not and would not alter your behavior. But were that offer generalized, such that any man who agrees to kill his wife – and produces conclusive proof that he’s done so, of course – could collect the bounty, some men would do so...including a few who are willing to be arrested and tried for the deed.

     So it remains possible that those who identify as conservative but defend the rights of Big Tech to suppress opinions they dislike are sincere, no matter where their funding comes from...though given the weakness of their arguments, I find it hard to believe. It’s also the case that many who defend those rights don’t get a dollar from Google, Facebook, et cetera...though I’m sure they’d be glad to accept them.

3. “Don’t Look Away.”

     Many Americans have chosen to retreat into quietism: to “bar the door” and refuse to engage in the political struggle of our time. It’s a natural reaction for those who feel incapable of correcting an unpleasant phenomenon. Most decent people are at least somewhat confrontation-averse. At any rate, every one of us could name something he’d rather be doing than arguing with a vicious Leftist shill or working to defeat some aspiring totalitarian in high office. Terresa Monroe-Hamilton wants us to fight:

     It is utterly bewildering to me why Americans would let the freest nation on earth get to this point… teetering on the edge of total collapse and subjugation to communists. We are now letting impeachment be used as a political weapon against the executive branch by the legislative branch. The Democrats have uninvited the judicial branch to the kangaroo court. So much for checks and balances. The Founders are rolling over in their graves and shouting for patriots to stop this insanity. We let these criminals walk free instead of screaming from the rooftops that they should be subjected to the same rule of law the rest of America is held accountable to.

     We give credence to these high-level criminals on the left and we insist on being civilized in the face of an all-out attack by the barbarians. That did not end well for the Romans and will not end well for us either. You can’t rationally talk your way into maintaining freedom with those that are intent on seizing and eliminating it in preference to totalitarian rule.

     These are not normal or rational people we are dealing with any longer. They are not well-intentioned or simply misled. They are evil. Their hatred of President Trump, Republicans, Christians, and the common man is so overwhelming for them it will now spill into the streets. So will the blood and death of many Americans if we don’t put a stop to this immediately.

     It’s a good, impassioned essay, but let’s be candid about the dangers. The Left is aware that it’s been defeated at the rational-argument level. Thus it’s adopted foul tactics: slandering, silencing, deplatforming, even physically attacking those who won’t fall into line with its agenda. If you’re at all vulnerable, speaking out will put you under their crosshairs...and most Americans are vulnerable.

     Matters have become so grave that to speak or work openly against these vermin is an act of considerable courage. (No, don’t look at me. I’m too minor a player for them to concern themselves with. Anyway, they have no way to hurt me.) Perhaps if we had been proactive about defending our rights and the integrity of our institutions half a century or so ago, things would be different today...but we weren’t, and they aren’t.

4. “And Don’t Get Away, Either!”

     I’ve lost the reference, but one of the more colorful stories about Lyndon Johnson says that he arm-twisted a Congressman who was outspoken against one of the “Great Society” programs by threatening to put a public-housing development into the heart of the Congressman’s constituency. The Congressman, immediately recognizing the danger to his middle-class constituents’ peace and safety, fell into line.

     The tactic may soon be employed again:

     Democrats in Virginia may override local zoning to bring high-density housing, including public housing, to every neighborhood statewide — whether residents want it or not.

     The measure could quickly transform the suburban lifestyle enjoyed by millions, permitting duplexes to be built on suburban lots in neighborhoods previously consisting of quiet streets and open green spaces. Proponents of “upzoning” say the changes are necessary because suburbs are bastions of segregation and elitism, as well as bad for the environment.

     The move, which aims to provide “affordable housing,” might be fiercely opposed by local officials throughout the state, who have deliberately created and preserved neighborhoods with particular character — some dense and walkable, others semi-rural and private — to accommodate people’s various preferences.

     But Democrats tout a state-level law’s ability to replace “not in my backyard” with “yes, in your backyard.”

     The much-discussed “flight to suburbia” of the postwar years was propelled in part by a desire for more space, but in larger measure to escape the mushrooming problems of crime, vandalism, and public nuisances that plague urban America. Needless to say, the problem would follow the perpetrators – and “public housing” has been one of their preferred domains for decades.

     Virginians thus find themselves needing to fight on two fronts. The assault on their right to keep and bear arms is already in progress, and its promoters will not be halted short of bloodshed. Ironically, the one thing likely to curb an attempt by Richmond to plant high-density residences for gangbangers and layabouts in the middle of peaceful, orderly Virginian communities is resistance by squads of armed Virginians. Amazing how that works, isn’t it?

5. “VIP.”

     And now, a personal peeve. A number of right-leaning sites I occasionally visit have been instituting “VIP” sections, access to which requires payment of an annually recurring fee. I find the practice faintly ominous. Some such as the Epoch Times have gone subscription-for-access. Some survivors of the halcyon days of Blogdom or yore, having gathered together for survival’s sake at PJMedia, have decided to “test the market” as well.

     That’s their perfect right. Perhaps they need to do it to pay their contributors; I wouldn’t know. (I also don’t know whether their contributors are paid.) However, I suspect that a fair percentage of their readers will be affronted by the notion, some sufficiently so that they’ll lose net patronage, especially those that produce mostly opinion pieces. An op-ed writer must always remember the Curmudgeon’s Anatomical Axiom:

Opinions Are Like Assholes:
Everyone’s Gotta Have One.

     And as any Gentle Reader will already know, I’ve got plenty of my own. Moreover, they’ll remain available to you free of charge for as long as I can keep stroking the keys. So while I’ll lament the loss of reading material, I shan’t be signing up to any “VIP” sections or paid-access sites, however much I may have enjoyed them in their previous incarnations. Please register your opinions in the Comments section.

     That’s all for today. Have a Merry and Blessed Christmas, Gentle Readers. It’s time to celebrate the birth of the Son of God and Redeemer of Mankind. I’ll see you shortly thereafter.


Dickw said...

I concur with your #5. I think deplatforming by Amazon has had an ugly effect on some of the blogs.


Pascal said...

2. "It’s also the case that many who defend those rights don’t get a dollar from Google, Facebook, et cetera...though I’m sure they’d be glad to accept them."

Ah, but have you considered that the writers may love being published by an org that does receive moolah from the Tech censors and wish to stay there. Thus as you so eloquently demonstrated, it may well be that love conquers all. We already know that man tends to be his own worse enemy.

Pascal said...

As James Burke became well-known for, here are some more Connections.

The Curmudgeon Emeritus to the World Wide Web frequently calls to our attention the first two items below.

1. Robert Conquest's Three Laws of Politics and

2. Gerry Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy.

The latter reads: "In any bureaucracy, the people devoted to the benefit of the bureaucracy itself always get in control and those dedicated to the goals the bureaucracy is supposed to accomplish have less and less influence, and sometimes are eliminated entirely." [Italics added]

3. As for those who avoid being among the italicized group, simply add a touch of Stockholm Syndrome.

If there are any well known writers offering solutions to this dilemma, they might be found among the italicized group, but we may never hear from them again. (See original complaint.)


Tracy Coyle said...

#1: I make the same claim and get loads of crap from the Left for it - the same Left that claims to be 'on my side'. Sorry, I live in the real world. I present very well and have for more than 25 years.

#3: The idea that once someone has theirs, they close and bar the doors to anyone else has been around a long time. I'm not surprised that cuckhold defends his choices.

#4: Diversity seldom happens in a vacuum - it must be imposed, which will always limit "any" benefit that might be derived from it. "YOU will love us damn it, even if we have to kill you to make it happen."

#5: I've been a daily blog reader from the earliest days, I will lament the loss of PJMedia, a daily fix for me because I won't pay for an opinion. They have lost me as a reader, though they still are on the blogroll for their 'flagging' their content.

Merry Christmas Francis, and to your long suffering wife! And all of those that abide here daily.

NOVA Shooter said...

#5: What's the right answer. Hosting isn't free. Our host's time is worth something. Compensation must be provided somehow for the vaule that I get.

I'be been known to click a link to a story just to find myself going to a site that has so much advertising that it takes forever to load. Even though I now use Ghostery which blocks a lot (I can recommend it highly) I still close the window when I see one tiny bit of text to read among a screen full of advertising. So that's not the answer.

I think our host here has the right idea as he has one small link for people to give donations. If you think it valuable, you'll donate. I can say this with a clear conscience as before I started typing I asked myself if I had donated recently. I couldn't remember so I did

Joseph said...

Relaxing zoning laws (even if it lowers property values) might be good for the Right. Places with inflated property values (e.g., "blue" states) vote strongly Left.

Besides, it also makes it easier for the next generation to afford to stay in the same neighborhood.