Why Come Back?

Well, after a year and a half of silence, why come back? Why come back now?

Politics I guess is part of it. Right now the political landscape has gotten weird. As the election season came along, I wasn’t a supporter of Mr Trump. However, having read most of Clinton Cash I decided that I was definitely in the NeverClinton camp. Mr Trump has his warts, but he didn’t have a history of selling the country his countries interests for personal gain. The second thing in Mr Trump’s favor was that on inspection most of the accusations against him (and after the election) those he selects are specious. For example, prior to the election it was widely touted that Mr Trump is sexist. One of the primary claims to back that up in the summer was his horrific (so it was said) “locker room” claim that he’d grabbed women’s by the crotch. Alas, on inspection .. the actual quote was somewhat different and what he actually said was the exact opposite of being sexist. He’d said that star struck women backstage at events would let you grab their p****y. Notice the word “would”. This isn’t a claim he did so. It was a statement of disapproval, that these women became so enamored of fame (as a bad thing) they would allow, well, too much. At the same time, many if not most of those accusing Mr Trump in this case of being over the top, were formerly supporters of the return (and exoneration) of Roman Polanski (accused and convicted of statutory rape and sodomy of a 13 y/old girl). There were other similar examples, over the top declamations in the press and blogs and so on … examine and substance vanishes.

Then, more recently, two incidents related to Mr Yiannopoulos occurred. The first is that liberal (possibly paid)  thugs used violence to shut down speech at Berkeley and nobody in the mainstream seemed at all alarmed. Bloggers I formerly respected like Mr Schraub didn’t speak out in his defense. Then, highly edited versions of his speech were used to defame him. Anyone on the planet who says anything can be accused and defamed by highly edited video. One can dislike Mr Yiannopoulos’ message, politics, and whatever. Doesn’t matter. Ms Hoyt is right. If you fail condemn in the strongest terms his being pilloried then, well, who will defend you when it happens to you or yours.

That being said, there is a silver lining to the press and their new found investigatory zeal and criticism of everything the President does. That is their job, well, to be honest that zeal without the over the top extreme partisan bias would be more correct. Alas, they didn’t remember that was their job during the prior administration to their shame.

That’s why I’ve returned to blogging, even my audience is sparse. As well, when I started a mission was to further understand the divide between right and left. That gap has widened in the last decade just a tad. Perhaps this time it will be easier to understand.

I had blogged my cycling, the sport and my forays into the same. I have SVT (a cardiac arrhythmia) which has taken me off the bike. A little over 3 years ago I replaced that with swimming. I’ve now entered two swim meets and am working towards a final meet of the season in April. I’ll be blogging about that (the sport and my forays) more in the future.

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6 comments

  1. Hey, welcome back.

    I’ve been … stumped for a productive way forward with the political situation. Which, on reflection, is exactly the point of many individuals in the “opposition party”: they want to make anyone stumped how to get along with them, leaving open only the “concede to us” option. Current events have gone further down the road toward insurrection than I had wanted to see in my life, and I have an uneasy feeling they aren’t done expanding their horizons just yet.

    At any rate: welcome back.

  2. Boonton@gmail.com says:

    Hey welcome back….

    Sad to say, though, I’m a bit disappointed. Your time away has IMO demonstrated that you’ll always fall for the ideological purity rather than intellectual honesty.

    For example, Trump’s comments were not about grabbing unwilling women as a means to seduction but were instead a dispassionate opining about how some women are so awestruck by fame they would allow themselves to be violated!? What exactly in the transcript leads you to believe he was not speaking from direct experience rather than abstractly guessing what women might do should he drop his high moral standards (https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/08/us/donald-trump-tape-transcript.html)?

    At the same time, many if not most of those accusing Mr Trump in this case of being over the top, were formerly supporters of the return (and exoneration) of Roman Polanski (accused and convicted of statutory rape and sodomy of a 13 y/old girl).

    Can you actually make this argument? We’ve had 8 years of a Democratic President who could have pardoned Roman Polanski on his way out if he wished. California’s been solidly Democratic since the GOP screwed up there. If there is such a huge number of powerful people on the left demanding exoneration of Polanski all it would require is something as simple as the CA gov. issuing a pardon or the DA going to court and dropping the charges against him. Fact is Polanski partisans are a small and aging bunch united either by personal friendship with him or technical legal objections to how the case against him was handled.

    One can dislike Mr Yiannopoulos’ message, politics, and whatever. Doesn’t matter. Ms Hoyt is right. If you fail condemn in the strongest terms his being pilloried then, well, who will defend you when it happens to you or yours.

    1. You have no idea who disrupted his ‘message’, since that is the case what do you base the assertion that they were ‘paid’ (the Alt-Right and their Russian tweetbots have polluted Facebook/Twitter and just about every other platform with the baseless claim that nearly all protest is some secret plot George Soros is directly with his endless money)?

    1.1. Agent provocateurism has been proven on the alt-right’s side. Google “rape Melania” for an example where a guy holding that sign at an anti-Trump rally was outed as actually being a Breitbart provocateur trying to manufacture a clickbait story.

    2. Freedom of speech includes the freedom to shoutdown and protest the speech of others. Yiannopoulos himself has advocated protesting other campus speakers. As protests become more common and include more people, we have to dust off the tools we have to keep them free and peaceful (that means crowd control, more secure venues for high profile speakers, more police than usual etc.). Doesn’t change the fact that protests by their nature are always a little wild. No one who protested Yiannopoulos should feel the slightest bit ashamed unless they themselves engaged in violence.

    3. If you were not blinded by ideology why are you not upset the right itself was the one that ultimately took away his ‘speech’ and closed themselves out to letting him share his ‘ideas’. Granted his ‘idea’ was the merits of 15 year old boys performing oral sex on adult men but if your principal is that speakers should have open access to a forum then you should follow that. If you think some extreme views are ok for a forum to shun, then what is your argument about Yiannopoulos?

    Anyway good to see you’re back. Since you left I myself have gotten heavily into podcasts (iPhone + headphones make them a great way to hear all the good stuff there is in the world). I myself haven’t got more athletic but I have explored doing a paleo diet…lost 30+ lbs from it and read a lot about nutrition. Hopefully your SVT isn’t causing you any other problems besides keeping you off the bike.

  3. Mark says:

    Been swimming a lot. Raced a few times, going to try it next year too.

    Freedom of speech includes the right to use violence to shut down other speech. Speaking of ideological purity … you defend methods that launched tyrants in the last century.

    Personally I’d like to distance myself from supporting Mr Trump more .. but the bigotry and hatred coming in enormous waves from the left side of the aisle keeps pushing me back.

  4. Boonton@gmail.com says:

    Well actually freedom of speech does mean that stuff can get shut down. Look at the behavior of pro-life protesters around abortion clinics. If people feel passionately enough, speech can and does go right up to the line of violence.

    Now did I say it’s ok for people to use violence? No, but if you get a crowd of angry people odds of violence go up. That is why venues in the know have crowd control which lets even very angry groups face off with each other but violence doesn’t happen. That doesn’t happen because crowds are normally taking the ‘ACLU Free Speech’ view of things ….happy to just ‘let ideas flow’. It happens because places that have been burned before with bad protests learned the hard way how they have to be managed so they don’t break out in violence.

    Personally I’d like to distance myself from supporting Mr Trump more .. but the bigotry and hatred coming in enormous waves from the left side of the aisle keeps pushing me back.

    Personally you’d like to unsubscribe from Playboy, but the excellent articles are so insightful you keep getting pushed back. Woe is you. Reality, I suspect you’re intellectually corrupted almost beyond redemption and don’t even know it.

  5. Mark says:

    Boonton
    So, you can shut down a talk and that’s ok because you think protesters can shut down an abortion clinic? Newflash, .. that’s not actually allowed or legal.

    No, but if you get a crowd of angry people odds of violence go up.

    And if you are in Berkeley the liberal violence gets a free pass.

    Porn vs “articles” is a bad analogy. The problem has been the constant stream of virulent hate speech. You know, death threats, calls for violence, calling his wife a prostitute and so on. Add to that news media articles that are clearly untrue and twisted (google for the Scott Adams interview with Wired and read that … he just pointed out what happened to him, … look for signs and the same things is going on every day with everyone associated with Trump). I’m firmly against that. … and as I said it’s the hatred and bigotry against Trump that keeps me in his camp right now.

  6. Boonton@gmail.com says:

    “So, you can shut down a talk and that’s ok because you think protesters can shut down an abortion clinic?”

    In an abortion clinic loses enough customers because many, but not all, women don’t want to brave a ring of yelling, screaming, angry people it will shut down. That’s free speech and while there’s some technical outs the abortion clinic could use to challenge protesters (for example, suing for libel if they yell untrue things or charging them with a crime if they threaten violence), it’s not difficult for the protesters to remain legally safe and yet be obnoxious enough that the place shuts down.

    “Add to that news media articles that are clearly untrue and twisted (google for the Scott Adams interview with Wired and read that … he just pointed out what happened to him, … look for signs and the same things is going on every day with everyone associated with Trump).”

    I’m not really seeing how free speech is an issue here. All the examples you provide seem to be of people who get a huge amount of free speech. I’m not interviewed by Wired. How many media appearances has Scott Adams had in the last year?

    What you don’t get is that protesting Scott Adams is just as much free speech as being Scott Adams and I pretty much guarantee no one who has protested Adams has enjoyed as much speech as Adams had. I do not see a case that if we are a whole all respected free speech more, we’d get more Adams speech. I think we get quite enough and probably more than we would if the media was giving us a pure stream of ‘interesting ideas’ rather than just going to the usual sources.

    Now what happened to Adams? Did someone call him a name? Did someone say something like “I wish you would die” on Twitter? All that stuff is bad but not really anything new to anyone whose been on the Internet, which brings out the worst in people.