Rants, can'ts, shan'ts, dance…

Rants

American College of Pediatricians: Transgenderism Harms Children

The American College of Pediatricians released a statement today urging educators and legislators to “reject all policies that condition children to accept as normal a life of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex.” In the statement, they argued that “facts – not ideology – determine reality” and that “conditioning children into believing a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse” because “human sexuality is an objective biological binary trait: “XY” and “XX” are genetic markers of health – not genetic markers of a disorder.”

This statement stands in staunch opposition to today’s narrative, where transgenderism is not only accepted but seems to be endorsed by schools, the mental health community and even parents alike, with children as young as three years old being encouraged to “decide” on their gender for themselves. This is very disturbing. Children cannot even decide what they want to eat for breakfast. Encouraging them to “choose their own gender” is irresponsible and absurd. True transgenderism exists, but it is rare. Certainly it does not exist in society in the numbers we see now. Encouraging rather than treating a mental disorder can only be disastrous, and actually endorsing it in children will be catastrophic.

The reasons cited for this absurdity are usually behaviors that “don’t fit” the child’s biological sex, or expressing an interest in being – or a belief that they are – the opposite gender. The problem with this is that children experiment with many different things when they are growing up. It’s how they learn and discover who they are. To label these behaviors as trans-anything is patently ridiculous and will create so many problems with self-image and identity. Encouraging a child to dismiss their actual identity in favor of something else creates displaced, unhappy and even suicidal people who don’t know who they are.

More than anything else, one must wonder… what is the point of eschewing the labels you believe society insists upon saddling your child with if all you are doing is slapping a different one on in it’s place? “Oh, you’re not a boy/girl! You’re a girl/boy! You’re transgender! You have no gender!” Today Little Johnny wants to be a girl. Tomorrow he wants to be a duck. Why not just let him be Little Johnny – whoever that actually is – and keep your own labels, agendas, insecurities and ideologies out of it?


Mob Mentality Making a Comeback in a Big Way

MobRuleOld

Once upon a time, people in America eschewed mob justice. Lynch mobs were considered uncomfortable relegates of the not-too-dstant past, an example of our evolution as a people toward more civilized ways of dispensing justice. A return to this mentality is disturbing, to say the least. That old taboo still exists; nobody wants to acknowledge it. Indeed, most people would deny that it’s happening, or endeavor to call it something different. However, if we look at the way things are now, we see that increasingly it is the case.

Most people would react with horror if shown a video of rapists or thieves being beaten and burned alive in the street in some other country. However, horror notwithstanding, not everybody would agree that it’s wrong. A growing number of people seem to have no problem at all with someone being ostracized, attacked, beaten or even killed with no trial or even any proof of wrongdoing – and many of these people are fine with those same actions even if it is known the victim has done nothing criminal at all, but subscribes to a different philosophy, opinion or belief system than they themselves do. This is something most people would like to believe happens only in third world countries where people are uncivilized barbarians but this is once again no longer the case – if it ever really was.

The number of “civilized” people screaming for blood – both figuratively and literally – over unproven, overblown and even relatively minor infractions is becoming frightening. Society as a whole has become a timebomb just looking – not waiting, looking; searching, wanting – for any chance to explode. Couple that with the digitalization of interaction which effectively removes any face of humanity from the situation, and factor in the self-righteous indignation, narcissism and plain old selfishness involved, and the prognosis becomes even more dire.

It’s different in some ways than it used to be; people are not afraid. They are too oblivious to be afraid. They are angry and bored. They have nothing to root for, nothing to care about and not enough of an attention span to truly engage in these things, even if they wanted to. The only thing that people cannot seem to let go of or forget about these days is that feeling of manufactured outrage over any and all perceived slights. We have become a society of expressing our moral outrage in 147 characters or fewer. Our attention span has shortened to less than that of a goldfish. Attempts to interact or engage beyond that limit are often met with hostility or even genuine anger, as if attempting to connect on a more human level or having more to say than can fit in a soundbyte is somehow wrong, unreasonable or unfair. As if it’s asking too much.

Humans have become plastic and untouchable puppets. They rage when they are told to rage and they accept when they are told to accept. They explode over nothing – or everything – and then it’s back to their digtal lives, no sweat. They have become a mob. A mob of puppets, dancing to the tune of whatever they are told to feel. It’s a Pavlovian response; ring the bell and react, only instead of triggering drooling, it triggers rage. Humans believe we are so far removed from this, even as we react accordingly to our conditioning everyday. The enemy is pointed out. We attack him. We “defeat” him. We celebrate. The enemy is pointed out. We attack him. We “defeat” him. We celebrate. Over and over and over ad nauseum, with the mob mentality not only defeating the scary enemy but also being used to keep those in line who dare to express dissent. The mob sees only one enemy, and that enemy is all who are not itself. We do all of this secure in the knowledge that we are operating autonomously for the greater good (of the mob itself, though we don’t realize that), and that our feelings are our own. We are so sure that we are righteous and correct, and that our feelings are ours.

But are we? Are they? Can living things operating under nonstop conditioning, programming and brainwashing from cradle to grave really be said to operate autonomously? Do we say rats which have been conditioned to run the maze are “smart” when they run it alone? No, we don’t. We say they are trained. And we are right.

Perhaps key to this phenomenon is that humans are not just angry and bored. We are confused, trapped and pressured into a system of being that we think we understand but which, even still, we somehow cannot make work for us. And why? Because That’s Just How It Is. We sit in a cubicle or at a desk all day and all night, staring at a phone or a screen 24 hours a day (either for fun or profit) and none of our biological imperatives or drives are exercised properly. We have too much energy and paradoxically, none at all. We become fat, anxious, depressed, despondent, hyperacidic… we can’t eat, we can’t sleep, we eat too much, we sleep too much… and we never wonder why – Because That’s Just How It Is. Humans are living a life far removed from the life we were supposed to live and because of that, the human experience has become one of illness, anxiety, depression and psychiatric problems. We cling to the flock because we don’t understand why it should be that we are living exactly as we are told to live and still it is not working. We are still sick, we are still anxious, we are still confused, we are still unhappy. We listen to those who tell us how to feel because, frankly, we don’t know. We don’t trust our own feelings because obviously something must be wrong with us if we are doing everything exactly “right” and things are still not OK. Someone must know better than we do. Someone must have the answers. It’s the same mentality that explains politics, cult leaders and more.

Mob mentality could be seen as a dysfunctional attempt to engage in the biological imperative of group forming. (Regardless of the society or situation, people still try to fulfill biological imperatives, even if they think they don’t.) The mob mentality keeps us safe. There is safety in numbers and it removes the obstacle of morality, neutralizes validation and confusion. It ensures acceptance and relieves individual struggle and responsibility. Identifying a mob enemy further solidifes the cohesion of the group and enhaces the sense that those on the outside of the group are expendable. More than any of these things, though, the mob phenomenon as a whole – and particularly the mob enemy – gives a voice and a face to our otherwise-unarticulated rage and boredom, as well an outlet for same – much the way the Two Minutes Hate in Orwell’s epic, 1984 does. People have no other outlet for the vast amounts of energy and emotion that are being repressed by our current culture. There is no wood to chop, no bread to knead. They have to let it out somehow. Cue our version of the Two Minutes Hate, the latest desperate attempt of a profoundly sick society to purge the poison.


Fair Treatment & Free Speech For All – Even The Klan

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You may have heard that the Ku Klux Klan had a rally in California that turned violent. Apparently, the Klan members were attacked by protesters as they were exiting their vehicles. It appears the brawl was caught on tape (video at the end of this article), and now the protesters are going to be charged in this crime. That is as it should be. You cannot physically attack someone just because you do not agree with them.

I got a lot of negativity for saying exactly that when this incident first happened. I heard many saying that the police should have shut this rally down or never permitted it in the first place. Truthfully, I never thought I’d find myself defending the Ku Klux Klan of all things, and I’m happy to say I was right about that. I was not defending the Klan and have never defended the Klan. I was defending free speech.

I find the Klan morally repugnant. I think they are idiotic, ignorant, foolish and frankly, I think they are absurd. They are laughable, a human joke. That doesn’t make what happened to them OK. Hearing people call for police intervention, insisting the authorities should have shut this rally down and stopped the Klan from exercising their first amendment rights is troubling. People seem to be perfectly happy with the government violating the rights of those they do not agree with. This is a slippery slope to stand on, folks. If you advocate the violation of others’ rights, you are advocating the eventual violation of your own by setting a precedent. Holding a rally centered around their stupid, hateful belief system is their right as Americans. For “protesters” to show up to that rally and physically attack them is a violation of their rights – period. However, this was not a protest. It was a mob. It was 30 people attacking six.

How is this any better than the Klan themselves? It would seem counter-productive for a group of minorities to attack KKK members – to say the least. How does it discredit the stupid things the Klan says about minorities? They say that minorities are savages and wild animals. How, then, does a group of minorities attacking them essentially without provocation dispute that? Sadly, it doesn’t. It’s just more fodder for the hate machine, and it has only made these Klan members martyrs for their own idiotic cause. They were attacked by those “savages” and “wild animals” they’ve been warning everybody about. This was exactly the wrong thing for people to do, and legality or rights violation isn’t even the half of it.

Perhaps the most troubling aspect of this incident is society’s general reaction to this incident. It’s too much to expect sympathy for the Ku Klux Klan, of course, but for people to be so unabashedly gleeful over this is disheartening, and a little disquieting. Guilt by association is not guilty enough. It’s despicable to be a racist and to be a member of the Klan – but it is not illegal. Holding a rally to promote their separatist, racist views is not illegal. Nothing they did was illegal, and for people to support – even applaud – a gratuitous, senseless “punishment” for what is essentially a thoughtcrime is disturbing.

Seeing and hearing so many supposedly civilized people who would gladly rip somebody apart in the street (or happily watch others do it) over an idea, a belief or an association is ominous. To say they got what they deserved is dangerously close to the type of rhetoric the Klan themselves spouts. People are entitled to how they feel, but to me it’s like saying it’s OK to be like the Klan as long as you’re sure you have a better reason for your behavior than you think they do. Isn’t that exactly how the Klan members feel? Don’t they feel their reasons justify their behavior? I’m not seeing how the same wrong mindset just turned against them is supposed to help anything. I devoutly hope that I myself am more evolved than a bunch of racist, sheet-wearing fools spewing bile and part of being better than that is not being OK with hateful mobs bent on hurting someone – because that is what the Ku Klux Klan is and that is why they are wrong. If we regard them as Neanderthals, as troglodytes trapped in a distant, stagnant past who are refusing to evolve, how does lowering ourselves to that level elevate our own platform? It doesn’t. It demeans and discredits it. It puts us squarely beside and on equal footing with them, whether people want to see that or not.

Is this really what we want? To be on equal moral footing with the Ku Klux Klan? Or is it just another example of the nearly-universal and almost totally unself-conscious narcissism and hypocrisy we see on display in society? “It’s not OK for you to do this, but it’s OK for me because I have a good enough reason and you don’t. I’m right and you’re wrong.” How does this mindset resolve itself? “I’m so tolerant, open-minded and evolved. I love all people equally, regardless of race, color, gender, creed or orientation. I truly believe in the Brotherhood of Man and that all life has value – AND I HATE THE KLAN FOR NOT FOLLOWING THIS! I LAUGH WHEN THEY ARE ATTACKED BY A HATEFUL MOB! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! KILL THEM ALL!!!” It doesn’t even make any sense.

This whole “intolerant of intolerance” thing is just hypocrisy. It’s “bigotry with good reason,” which is just another way of saying, “I can do this but you can’t.” If your reaction to a hateful mob is to form another hateful mob, you are a hypocrite. Fighting fire with fire won’t put the fire out. It only burns everybody involved. It solves nothing, and has the added consequence of destroying the credibility of all parties.

If we claim to be enlightened, if we claim to be evolved, if we claim to be tolerant, if we claim to be champions of equality and free speech but we draw the line at defending those we find distasteful or we actually advocate violence toward others in these situations, we aren’t really any of these things – and we are certainly no better or even any different than those we are opposing. It’s easy to defend somebody that everybody agrees with. It becomes significantly more difficult when it’s someone that nobody – including ourselves – agrees with. It’s hard to look past ignorance, and it’s not easy to have the courage of our convictions in the face of a hostile majority, but what are we without it? We become just so many hypocrites.


Is Pedophilia a Mental Illness?

There is a post going around about the self-proclaimed pedophile who wrote an article about pedophilia. He received quite a bit of hate for it (of course) and wrote a follow-up article entitled, “I’m a Pedophile, You’re The Monsters: My week inside the vile right-wing hate machine.” I’m not going to name the guy or link anything; if you want to find it, you can. However, my concern was with the comments on some of the posts about it. There seem to be way too many “pedophile apologists” on the internet for my liking. The main thrust of the argument seems to be that pedophiles need to be treated, not hated. I have a few problems with that argument.

The biggest problem is that pedophiles have been trying to use the homosexual platform for years, but anyone who points this out gets shouted down as a homophobic bigot. What’s being largely ignored here is that it’s pedophiles who are making that comparison, not anybody else. It seems that no one ever wants to acknowledge that. They want to pretend these so-called right wing religious extremists are comparing pedophilia to homosexuality, but it is pedophiles who are doing that. Pedophiles have essentially attempted to co-opt homosexuality for themselves; they portray themselves as ardent gay rights supporters in order to be accepted by the homosexual community and then engage in deliberate confusion of the issues, trying to make gay rights and pedophile rights seem like the same thing. They are not. Homosexual behavior involves consenting adults. Pedophilia does not. If any so-called homosexual behavior does not involve consenting adults, it’s pedophilia in disguise. Period. Same with heterosexual behavior. The gay community needs to come together and oust these wolves in sheep’s clothing if they do not want to be associated with them, because it is they who are creating the association.

Pedophilia is not a fetish. It’s not a paraphilia and it’s not a mental illness, any more than homosexuality ever was. If homosexuality is not a mental illness, neither is pedophilia. Homosexuals are not attracted to people of the opposite gender. Pedophiles are not attracted to adults of either gender. Both of these have been (and in some cases, still are) considered “outside the norm” for human sexuality. Therefore, we are faced with either agreeing that pedophilia is also a sexual orientation, or agreeing that homosexuality is also a mental illness. It can’t be both things because in the world of psychology, the age of the desired “partner” doesn’t really matter. What matters is that the desire exists is outside of (or in contrary to) the norm of “normal” human sexuality. Hence, either both are sexual orientations or both are mental illnesses. You cannot classify one as a mental illness and not the other based on the fact that having sex with children is illegal. In terms of classifying mental illness, this doesn’t really matter. We all know that homosexuality is not a mental illness, but people are very hesitant to say that about pedophilia. It’s probably because admitting pedophilia is a sexual orientation is how it’s getting lumped in with homosexuality and other “accepted” sexual orientations. It’s how pedophiles are using the homosexuality platform to try to advance their own agenda. It gives the pedophile platform traction, and some are using that to try to legitimize it. However, it doesn’t. What you are has nothing to do with what you do, and it is no excuse either way.

It is because of this hesitance to call pedophilia what it really is that people don’t seem to understand (or are refusing to admit) that treating pedophilia does not work. Even castration does not work. Again, pedophilia is a sexual orientation. Could they treat you and cure you of being heterosexual or homosexual? No, they cant. It doesn’t work. As an aside, it’s funny how people don’t realize what they sound like when they keep saying this. They sound like the people who were advocating “curing” homosexuals of their “mental illness” 50 years ago. “We can help them be normal!” No, you can’t. They are what they are.

People might argue that after some pedophiles are treated, they don’t reoffend. Others say some pedophiles never offend at all. First of all, I wouldn’t bet my life on that if I were you and second of all, a homosexual person can go through their entire life never having sex with someone of the same gender and that doesn’t mean they’re not gay. It means that for whatever reason, they are controlling their behavior. It’s the same thing with heterosexual people. You can force a person to stop acting on their desires but you cannot make the desires go away. We are talking about correcting internal drives vs correcting external behavior, and they are not the same thing. You cannot make a homosexual man become attracted to women, no matter what you do. You cannot make a heterosexual man become attracted to men, no matter what you do. You cannot make a pedophile become attracted to adults of either gender, no matter what you do. These thingscannot be changed.

In other words, you can possibly correct a pedophile’s behavior but you cannot cure him of being a pedophile. Some might say that’s enough – and maybe it is – but don’t call it what it isn’t. These people are not cured. They will never be cured. Now, there are some people who aren’t true pedophiles; they are predators that will just prey on anything weaker than themselves: men, women, children, animals… These particular people could be “cured” of preying on children if the consequences for doing so are severe enough, but there is a difference between a pedophile and a predator. Pedophiles can be predators in addition to being pedophiles, but they are not the same thing. True pedophilia is a sexual orientation. A pedophile is only attracted to children and only desires sex with children. (Not all children – just as gay men aren’t attracted to all types of men and straight men aren’t attracted to all types of women – but only children.) A predator, in contrast, will take advantage of whomever is convenient and weak. Predatory behavior is about the other person being a victim, not their age. However, as is the case with pedophiles, predators cannot be cured of being predators, either. In my considered opinion, both of these types of people are walking time bombs. It’s only a matter of time until something terrible happens.
You cannot cure a dog of being a dog, you cannot cure a pedophile of being a pedophile and you cannot cure a predator of being a predator. It’s what they are.

Everyone is an Expert These Days

Like many other people, I enjoy debating. Not arguing, in the common sense of the word but debating. They are very different. “Arguing” as we are using it here is a situation where you are angry with someone. We could also call it fighting. In debate, you can be passionate and you use argument (like in court, when they say closing arguments), but you should never be angry. Debate is not personal, whereas fighting often is. If a debate becomes personal, it is no longer a debate. It’s a fight. Fighting – especially online – is just stupid. Debating can be very productive.

This is where the problem lies.

The truth is, I care about that a lot because I care about the free exchange of ideas. I care a lot about the exchange of information. And I’m so sick of people arguing shit just to argue because they think they are right. They have no reason to think they’re right; they can’t back up their assertions or prove anything they’ve stated. They just think they’re right and that is the basis of their entire argument: “I’m right because I say I am.” When challenged, these folks often fall back on the old, “Well, I’m entitled to my opinion” spiel. You might be entitled to your opinion but that has nothing to do with whether what you’ve actually asserted is correct. Saying that does not justify your opinion in any way. For example, maybe you’ve asserted that last year was the hottest year we’ve ever had, because that is your opinion. If I argue your assertion with facts that prove last year was not the hottest year we’ve ever had, you cannot then say, “I’m entitled to my opinion” as an argument. It isn’t one. The society we live in bends over backward to validate all opinions, no matter how stupid or incorrect. Just remember that “justification” and “validate” are two different things. I’m only required to validate your opinion in a debate if you can justify it.

So… To all my fellow debating folks out there: never forget that sometimes when you are debating something with another person, the reason that person argues in circles and will not concede a point or a fact is because they don’t actually know enough about the subject to know if you’re right or wrong. You’re wasting your time with these people. Find a worthy opponent.

And to those of you who “debate” like that: You may think you’re intelligent and you very well may be, but intelligence is not a substitute for knowledge in the arena of facts. You’re going to get beaten every time if you are armed with only that.

Debate is not for arguing in circles, or fighting. It’s for actually making points using facts. In a debate, arguing in a circle is a sign that you actually don’t know your shit (because all you’ve done is state a conclusion but you cannot back it up). So are things like insulting people, using strawman arguments, emotional arguments and appeal to authority, among other things. If a debate does not progress past these things, then someone in the debate doesn’t know what the fuck they are talking about. 

There are way too many people anymore who argue things just to argue them. They don’t really know what they are talking about, but they are bound and determined that they are right. This new spike in human narcissism is destroying the actual exchange of ideas and replacing it with useless, pointless bickering. Do yourselves a favor: don’t argue or debate something unless you are absolutely sure that you are right – and you can actually prove it using something beyond your personal experience. You’re bringing down the curve for the whole country.


Anti-Rape Devices: Helpful or Harmful?

There is a lot to be said for the idea of anti-rape devices, such as rape-thwarting underwear and the aptly-named Rape-aXe, which impales the rapist’s penis on barbs, causing him excruciating pain upon withdrawal. I applaud the idea behind these things, but I think in practical application, they could be very dangerous. The most common type of rapist (the power reassurance or “gentleman” rapist) may run away when he finds his efforts countered, but there are many others who will not. Anti-rape devices will only incite these rapists, making it more likely that the woman will be seriously injured or even killed as a consequence. Rape is about power and the desire to have control over another person. When any type of rapist (because there are different types) sees that he is being prevented from having what he wants, he very often reacts with rage and escalated violence – up to and including murder.

The anti-rape devices that scare me the most are the ones that inflict pain on the rapist. How many women are going to be killed for using these devices? They’re supposed to “temporarily incapacitate” him but how long does it really take to stab somebody and kill them, or choke them to death, or punch them in the face and cause serious damage? If you use a weapon against him, make sure it is one you are skilled with using that he cannot take from you and use against you. If you cannot get away from the rapist before the actual sexual attack starts, it may be safer to simply comply. It could save your life – and that is what is most important here. A rape can turn into a murder in less than 2 seconds. You have to stay alive by whatever means necessary and if that means going along with it, then do so. Protecting your life is more important than protecting an ideal. It’s fine to argue politics in the safety of your own home; we can talk all day about how to prevent rape in the broader sense, but when you are actually in a life or death situation, things become very, very simple: you survive. Yes, rape is wrong. Yes, the rapist is wrong. Yes, the rapist is totally and solely to blame. Yes, what he is doing is terrible and scarring. Yes, he is a bastard and a criminal and he should be castrated. But you must survive and however you can do that is what matters. I will not judge you and neither will anyone with a brain.

Women often say “I’ll punch him in the face! I’ll kick him in the nuts! I’ll scratch his eyes out!” but many who have attempted this have been severely beaten and even killed. Many a rapist has said point-blank that if the woman hadn’t fought back, he wouldn’t have hurt her. Now this smacks of victim-blaming (surprise), but if we look at the psychology behind rape, we see that there is probably truth to it. He rapes to feel powerful and if you fight back, this means he is not coming across as powerful enough. This angers him and it has just become a very dangerous situation for you. It is no longer about consent and the horrible, despicable intrusion of your body. Now it is about your life and that is far more important. It isn’t worth dying for. Even Richard Ramirez (a notably sadistic serial killer) spared the life of the one woman who did not fight him at all. Not only did he kill the ones who did fight back, but he cut out the eyes of the one who fought back the hardest. (Maxine Zazzara pulled a shotgun out on him, but it was unloaded and she didn’t know that. Her eyes were never found.) It’s not worth your life. What you need to do in that situation is use your head, not your fists. Beat him with your brain. If you live, you win. It’s that simple. If you can’t talk to him rationally, then look at him (if you can see him). Remember him. Memorize his face, his body, his tattoos, his teeth, his smell, his voice, everything. And tell the police. Sear his face into your brain so that you don’t forget him. That is how you stop him.

If you do choose to fight back, prepare to fight back hard. As hard as you can, because this is your life and once you’ve started fighting, you may die if you can’t get away. And if you have a gun, shoot him if you can. No warning. No hesitation. Shoot him.


Can Words Kill? The Case of Conrad Roy & Michelle Carter

Recently the death of Conrad Roy has been the subject of much scrutiny. The focal point of this scrutiny are text messages he received from his online girlfriend Michelle Carter that seem to be encouraging him to commit suicide. Ms. Carter has been charged with involuntary manslaughter. Most of the reaction to Ms. Carter’s texts has been understandably negative. The comment section psychiatrists are out in full force, diagnosing her as a sociopath and a narcissist. If all you read are the Huffington Post articles about it, you might be inclined to agree. However, if you actually peruse the court documents and read all of her texts to him and to her friend, you see that it is not what it first looks like. She seems to have been trying to be supportive of his wish to die while at the same time not really believing he was going to do anything and trying to mirror back to him what he was saying to show him that it sounds crazy. It’s a case of, “I don’t want you to but if you want to, I’ll support you because I love you but I want you to understand how crazy and stupid it sounds.”

This is not as odd as it sounds, especially since they had these kinds of conversations often. Kids (and even some adults) don’t have much of a grasp of mortality. Even when staring their own imminent death in the face, most people just cannot accept that they really are going to die. It’s just too absurd and too big, too fundamental for us to understand. Humans at our core are narcissistic; the fact that the world will go on after we die is unbelievable, therefore so is dying. It’s hard for people to understand and believe people they know and love can die, especially if someone talks about this kind of thing all the time but never really does anything.

The “online psychiatrists” who are maligning this girl have obviously had the luxury of never living with someone who feels that way. Someone who talks about suicide nonstop. Someone who refuses to get help for it. Someone who truly does want to die. I have a friend who is dying of cancer and flatly refuses chemotherapy. I argued for treatment many times. It’s not what he wants. I have to accept that. If he wanted my help with ending it his own way, I love him and I would help him. It’s not what I want but it’s not my life and I am not the one suffering. This was a young girl with psychiatric problems of her own. Was she wrong? Absolutely. Did she intend to do anything wrong, or to hurt him? I don’t know about that. I don’t think so. Beyond the explanations offered, something that many people haven’t considered is that maybe she was trying to be supportive by helping him not chicken out of what he really wanted. Sometimes, that is the only help you can offer.

Sound absurd? Not really. Many people don’t understand what it is like to live with someone like that. You cannot beg and plead with someone to live every single day. It’s emotionally exhausting but more than that, it doesn’t help anyway; after a while, you realize it’s just not what they really want. For some people, feeling suicidal is not a momentary or temporary feeling. It’s how they feel all the time. It’s not a “crisis.” It’s their every day life and nothing makes it go away. If someone truly does not want to live anymore, what right do you have to stand in their way? I’m not advocating suicide here. People should always seek help for themselves or their loved ones in a crisis. But if help doesn’t work, if someone truly decides that they just don’t want to live anymore, who am I to stop them? It isn’t my life and I’m not the one suffering.

It must be nice to sit in a place of enlightenment and ignorance, knowing fuck-all about how us scumbags live and pass judgment on what everyone else does. I don’t have that luxury. I know all too well what it is like to be around someone like that. He is alive today but not because I saved his life (though I literally did, on more than one occasion). He is alive today because after more than 30 years – 30 years – of feeling suicidal nonstop every single day, he decided he wanted to be alive. Help didn’t help him; he’s gotten plenty of it – for years. Medications, therapy, hospitalization, understanding, love, compassion… he’s gotten plenty of all of those things. They did not help. Nothing helped and to this day, it has not helped. He has decided to live with it for his own reasons, but it hasn’t gone away. It isn’t going to go away because the problem is a lot deeper than “Don’t kill yourself, your family loves you.” Again, I’m not talking about people facing a crisis or an emergency. I am talking about “permanent” suicidal feelings that the person cannot get rid of, that they have had every single day for years, maybe even their entire life. It must be hell on earth. It looks like hell on earth. It’s hell on earth to be around. I don’t begrudge people like that a goddam thing. And I don’t judge them, or their loved ones. People that do… well, lucky you, I guess. I know too much about it to do that. The boy in the story we are talking about here talked about suicide almost every single day for the entire time this girl had known him. I don’t judge her. We all do the best we can and she is a kid. If you’ve not had that experience, you do not understand what it is like at all, so save your judgments for something you actually do understand. This poor dumb girl is probably going to rot in jail because she mishandled a situation that even trained professionals with years of schooling often handle wrong.

One of the things I use this blog for is to tell hard truths, things that a lot of people won’t say. This is one of them. You cannot make somebody want to live. You cannot watch them 24 hours a day. You cannot live their lives for them. You cannot force them to continue to suffer a life they feel is intolerable just to spare your feelings. That is selfish. Suicide is often called selfish and I believe it is, but so is that. It’s the same with drug addicts, people in abusive relationships, people who refuse life-saving healthcare or anything else. If someone is determined to harm or kill themselves – either blatantly or through self-neglect, as my other friend is doing by refusing chemo – they will. That’s it.

So no. Words cannot kill. He was suicidal before he met her and he stayed suicidal after meeting her. It had nothing to do with her, but she is going to go to prison anyway because the law – and the majority in this country – think you should be able to somehow stop someone from killing themselves, even if they don’t want help and even if they are determined to do so. You can apparently kill someone with words in this country now, without even touching them. You killed them simply by not continuing to try for years to stop them from something they really want to do. Can’t wait to see what that turns into.


The Battle of The Bathroom: Political Correctness Run Amok

Recently I got into a… not really an argument or debate but just a small thing with someone on social media regarding whether or not transgender folks should be able to use the bathroom they choose, rather than the one dictated by their anatomy. My position is that they should use the one dictated by their anatomy, simply because it has become too much of a grey area and a line has to be drawn or a distinction made somewhere. It’s going to have to be there. That’s the simplest and most obvious resolution to the problem, and for me it is a problem. Not because people are trans, though. I have a problem with the whole transgender bathroom thing because for someone to feel uncomfortable if an opposite sex person is in the bathroom with them would be a pretty common thing. Most people don’t want that. If nobody cared, that would be something totally different. But they do care, so why do 500 people have to be made uncomfortable just so one person is not? I’m all for equality as everybody knows, but that isn’t equality – at all. It’s special rules for special people, which is the antithesis of equality.

If someone can say, “My rights are being violated by forcing me to use the bathroom for my anatomic gender because I don’t personally feel that gender is correct. I feel I’m in the wrong bathroom which makes me uncomfortable,” why is it not OK for someone to say, “My rights are being violated by forcing me to use the bathroom with someone who is not anatomically the same gender as myself even if they think that gender is incorrect. I feel they are in the wrong bathroom which makes me uncomfortable”? Isn’t it the same thing?

Transgender person: “I am uncomfortable using the bathroom around people I feel are the opposite gender from myself, even if they don’t think they are.” The narrative says OK. You don’t have to. This is a big deal and we will do everything we can to ensure you are not uncomfortable.

Non-transgender person: “I am uncomfortable using the bathroom around people I feel are the opposite gender from myself, even if they don’t think they are.” The narrative says You’re a bigot. Suck it up. It’s not a big deal and if you say it is, you’re just overreacting. 

How is that fair? It’s the exact same thing. This is where it bothers me. For me, it’s not a transgender issue. It’s the unfairness of the narrative. The person I got into the thing with asked the folks in the thread, “And what do you actually think they’re going to be doing with thier [sic] penises in the bathroom? Chase you around and say “ooga-booga”? Rape you?” That right there is bullshit. It’s stating that if someone is uncomfortable by having to use the bathroom with someone they feel is the opposite gender, they’re being needlessly fearful and overreacting. That translates into: Your feelings about this don’t matter. Yes, it affects you personally but they still don’t matter. Your privacy doesn’t matter. Nothing matters, except how this one person feels. She went on quite a bit about how it was no big deal and people who had a problem with it are just overreacting. If that’s the case and it’s no big deal to use the bathroom around people who you feel are the opposite gender, why can’t our hypothetical transgender friend just use the bathroom dictated by their anatomy? Oh, right. Because it is a big deal – for them. The hypocrisy of that argument just absolutely astounds me. It really does. “I’m doing the same thing you are, but you doing it is bigoted.” What the hell, man? I’m hateful and bigoted for saying the same thing you’re saying? I’m hateful and bigoted because I don’t want to go to the bathroom with people of the opposite gender – the exact same thing transgender folks don’t want? Why? Why is it OK for them to feel that way but not for me?

It isn’t just with this issue, of course. This issue is just a perfect example of the hypocrisy and absurdity of political correctness run amok. In an attempt to appease the few, the many are sacrificed. This in the end appeases nobody. It breeds anger and creates a feeling of being marginalized and disrespected. Of course, it’s supposed to. Divide and conquer and all that.

As an aside, I find it amazing that so many people claim to be against “rape culture” and state ridiculous things like, “The penis is by default an object of violence” but somehow are able to reconcile the penis as inoffensive and impotent (sorry) when the bearer of said penis believes he is a female, and further, that they insist that girls and women who don’t want a person who is anatomically male in their bathroom need to simply put up with it.


Truly Transgender or Unhappy Inside?

There is a spotlight on trans issues lately, but there is something about it that concerns me. Now, I believe in transgenderism as “a thing,” unlike some people. In other words, I believe it does exist and that there really are people who feel their body is incorrect. I believe in their pain. I cannot imagine going through life feeling that way. I really can’t. That’s not the problem I have.

The problem I have is if we simply accept without question everyone who claims to be transgender, we are going to end up doing a disservice to some people. Because while I believe that there definitely are transgendered folks out there, I also know for a fact that there is a subset of folks in the transgender category who are simply unhappy with who they are and want to change that. In other words, they’re not truly transgender in the sense that they believe that they were born the wrong gender. They may think they are transgender (or trans-something) but in actuality, they’re simply unhappy with who they are and want to be someone else – anyone else. This is not the same thing as being truly transgender and I really think a distinction needs to made here but too often, it isn’t.

This is very important, because helping people in that category to become someone else rather than try to accept who they are and like the person they are could end up being extremely damaging. What happens if they actually transition and find out that – surprise! – they’re still themselves, just with a different body? They’re still going to be unhappy, and this time it will be worse because the thing that they thought was going to fix them didn’t: “I’m a different gender now, but I am still a loser/unpopular/depressed/suicidal/don’t fit in/etc.” Now what? This could push people over the edge, and I’m sure in some tragic cases, that has happened.

I am aware that there are very strict medical protocols to determine whether someone is a good candidate for sex reassignment surgery and that these protocols are designed to try to weed out exactly the kind of people I am talking about. I’m speaking more on societal level; how we as a society react. When we offer blanket acceptance, we are effectively validating everybody, and for people who are having an identity crisis or serious self-image issues but are not truly transgender, this could be very, very damaging. People seeking change who are not truly transgender need help to accept who they are and to find things to like about themselves, not validation that being someone else is the answer to their problems, because it isn’t. It’s just adding another serious problem to an already-existing serious problem.

For example: if someone wants to become a woman because they think they would achieve more acceptance, self-confidence, etc. as a woman, then they need to figure out why they don’t feel they can achieve that as a man. They don’t need to become a woman. (And this does happen; I know someone with this exact problem.) Encouraging the change in this situation only further reinforces this person’s idea that who they actually are is not good enough. That is so damaging to someone’s self-image and identity. They need help discovering who they really are and liking it. They don’t need to be told that how they are feeling is normal or OK, because to dislike yourself so much that you literally want to transform into someone else is not OK.

It’s also not transgender.

The spotlight on trans issues of all kinds has brought to light the other very serious issues that people have with accepting themselves and who they are. People who are not truly trans are gravitating toward trans identification because they are desperately unhappy with who they are. It’s time to stop ignoring them.


Do You Even Science?? COME AT ME, BRO! Margaret Sanger in the Smithsonian & Other Atrocities

So you may have heard that Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood and noted eugenicist and racist has been enshrined with a bust in the Smithsonian in an exhibit honoring champions of human rights. Aside from the absolute absurdity of a racist being honored beside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks, there is a sign beneath the bust of this evil bitch which reads, “During her campaign, Sanger became associated with the eugenics movement – which promoted, among other practices, the forced sterilization of those deemed mentally unfit and for a time was endorsed by many of the era’s prominent thinkers.” Not only do I find her inclusion in such an exhibit absolutely repugnant, I struggle to understand what in the actual fuck championing eugenics, racial genocide and abortion has to do with human rights. We have really entered the Twilight Zone here, folks. Someone actually told me that not including Margaret Sanger in this exhibit was “white washing history.” I literally could not think of a reply for almost 10 minutes. Censoring history?? Putting that bitch in any exhibition as a champion of humanity is what’s white washing history. I could not believe this guy said that, especially considering how high the rate of elective abortions is among minorities, specifically African-Americans. ‘Champion of human rights?’ Sounds like her disgusting legacy is still alive and well (so to speak). Of course, when you mention Margaret Sanger or Planned Parenthood for any reason, it inevitably turns into a debate about abortion.

Now, I’ve been involved in the abortion debate for a number of years. 20, to be exact. In that time, I have heard a great many arguments from the pro-choice side and there is one main argument that never ceases to amaze me: “Abortion does not kill a human being.” This is the basic premise on which nearly all other pro-choice arguments rest, such as “It’s not a human being yet” or “It’s not a baby until it’s born” and other scientifically unsupportable gems. The problem with this basic premise is that, well… it’s not true. At all. It’s not even close to true.

The science is very clear here: life begins at conception. This cannot be argued. The only argument is whether or not that life matters to you, but pro-choice people seem uncomfortable actually confronting that. They argue around it, essentially claiming, “Human life matters to me – but it’s not a human yet.” Then what is it? Is it a fish? Is it a dog? Is it a tomato? It’s a human being and there is never a time during human development in which a human being is not a human being. That argument is not only not scientific, it’s silly. It seems to exist solely to dupe vulnerable women into believing they are not killing living human beings. Perhaps some make that argument because to them, the offspring of the poor and of minorities aren’t really human beings.

This usually leads to (or is accompanied by) the argument that a person is not a person until they reach sentience and/or consciousness. This argument actually hurts the pro-choice side though, because the time in development where this occurs is unknown. There is speculation but that’s all. This leaves the door open for the other side to claim that if the time is unknown, abortion at any time under these guidelines would be wrong. Not that it really matters; attempting to quantify (and qualify) life by the yardstick of sentience and/or consciousness is not how it works. It’s subjective emotional argument at best. Science and medicine both agree that life begins at conception. It is only people seeking to rationalize their behavior and decisions who claim that it doesn’t. If we use sentience in particular as the yardstick, it’s OK to kill many living things, not just unborn human beings. The 18th-century philosopher Jeremy Bentham stated in Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation that “The French have already discovered that the blackness of the skin is no reason why a human being should be abandoned without redress to the caprice of a tormentor… What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason, or, perhaps, the faculty of discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversable animal, than an infant of a day, or a week, or even a month, old. But suppose the case were otherwise, what would it avail? The question is not Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?” Since this question cannot be definitively answered regarding prenatal human beings – and even many “post-natal” human beings – it is wiser that the pro-choice side leave it out of the debate. You could use the sentience argument to argue for the “termination” of many people, including the profoundly disabled, some elderly folks, people in comas… the list goes on. This particular argument has been used to justify some very nasty things throughout history, and conversely it is used to protect animals in legislature, including animals such as octopus, squids and lobsters.

It all sounds very intellectual for the ignorant and uneducated to use these arguments but I have often found that sounding intellectual is as far as it goes. Too many of them are just repeating something they read and are completely unable to back up what they’ve said or even explain it. They simply keep repeating it verbatim, a sure sign that they don’t actually understand what they’ve said. This is often where the “blastocyst” argument comes in to play. I have heard this I don’t know how many times: “Aborting a blastocyst is not wrong.” Well, that may be your opinion but since a human being is only a blastocyst for a very short time and this is weeks before the woman even knows she is pregnant, I would venture that not too many blastocysts are aborted.

Literally two seconds of research would have kept these people from making such an absurdly ignorant argument, but they don’t do it. The consensus here seems to be, “I don’t know what it means but it sounds science-y and probably no one else will know, either.” Wrong. And I am always happy to point it out. The “chicken egg” argument fits into this area, as well. You know the one I am talking about… it compares an unborn human being to the chicken eggs people eat. There is a meme floating around that has been shared thousands of times which makes this exact comparison and it always makes me laugh. The chicken eggs people eat are unfertilized. They will never grow into a chicken, no matter what happens. Chicken eggs are equivalent to the unfertilized eggs in a woman’s ovaries, not a developing human being in the uterus. They are not comparable in any sense. Do you even science, bro?

There are many like that in this particular debate. They argue in circles and they cannot concede any points in the debate because they don’t actually know enough to know if the other person is right or wrong. These are, coincidentally (or not), the same people who argue that abortion does not kill a human being. People like this are the weak link in the pro choice’s side. They try the religious angle. They try the sentience angle. They try the “it’s not a human being yet” angle. They try every emotional argument they can think of in order to “shame” others into agreeing that they are correct. It doesn’t work with me, and it’s not going to work. You cannot trump science and the science here is very basic and very clear. Abortion is killing a human being, and you will not find even one doctor, scientist or educated individual who tries to claim that it isn’t. Even the president of Planned Parenthood said in an interview with Ms. Magazine that abortion is killing, and that anyone who believes otherwise is essentially deluding themselves because they don’t want to admit it.

  • Naomi Wolf (noted feminist author and proponent of abortion) stated in Our Bodies, Our Souls that, “Clinging to a rhetoric about abortion in which there is no life and no death, we entangle our beliefs in a series of self-delusions, fibs and evasions. …we need to contextualize the fight to defend abortion rights within a moral framework that admits that the death of a fetus is a real death.”
  • Ann Furedi, CEO of the largest independent abortion provider in the UK, stated flatly during a debate that “the point is not when does human life begin, but when does it really begin to matter?”
  • Bernard Nathanson, co-founder of NARAL Pro-Choice America stated, “There is simply no doubt that even the early embryo is a human being. All its genetic coding and all its features are indisputably human. As to being, there is no doubt that it exists, is alive, is self-directed, and is not the the same being as the mother–and is therefore a unified whole.” (Dr. Nathanson later recanted his support for the pro-choice movement.)

So keep on arguing that abortion does not kill a human being, my ignorant friends. Science does not agree with you. Medicine does not agree with you. The educated people on your own side do not agree with you. In fact, you embarrass them. And why? Because they are educated. They know they cannot refute this simple fact – and they don’t try. This ridiculous argument is only used by people who are ignorant. If you are OK with this kind of killing, then just say so. Stop pretending that it’s something else. If you have to do that, maybe you are not as OK with it as you claim to be. These people cannot accept the facts, and instead try to advance opinions as facts. That cannot be done. If you want to argue an opinion, then you have to accept facts. The fact – according to sweeping consensus medically and scientifically – is that abortion kills a human being. Either accept that as a fact and be OK with it or don’t, but don’t keep trying to advance your opinion as a fact. You can argue your opinion, such as why you think killing a human being in this instance is OK, but you cannot argue that the facts are not facts. It’s irrational and it makes you look foolish.

The simple truth is that these particular people refuse to just flat out say the life of an unborn human being does not matter to them. They argue around it, and in that direction but they will never just admit it. They try to use science to avoid having to say it, or to justify their feelings. They use emotional argument to try to shame people into agreeing that unborn human beings are less important than the rest of us – ironically while they are blasting the pro-life side for using emotional argument and being too blinded by emotion to use logic. Like I said, do you even science, bro? It is the pro-choice side using emotional argument, flawed logic and pseudo-intellectualism to advance their agenda. Anyone who does not agree, they attempt to insult, browbeat and shame with absurdities:

  • “You want women to be forced to have babies!!!” No, I want women to use contraception like responsible adults. I don’t subscribe to your insulting, ridiculous theory that humans are not above rutting dogs in the street that can’t control themselves. This argument sickens me.
  • “Yeah, well… accidents happen!!!” They do, which is what the morning after pill was invented for. It does not terminate a pregnancy. It prevents conception. Huge difference.
  • “You want rape victims to have their attackers’ babies!!” Again, the morning after pill. The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology did a study that concluded pregnancy results from about 5% of rapes. But since pregnancies resulting from rape and incest account for less than 0.03% of abortions, save your strawman arguments and talk about a real problem – such as the staggering amount (over a million) of elective abortions performed in this country every year that terminate pregnancies created by irresponsible consensual sex. To put it into context: according to RAINN, there are an average of 293,000 sexual assaults (a phrase which encompasses a variety of despicable things, not just forcible rape with vaginal penetration) every year. Even if every single one of these sexual assaults was a rape that resulted in a pregnancy, and even taking under-reporting of rape into account, that still means that over one million children are aborted in this country every year as a result of consensual sex. As an aside, abortion after rape actually occurs at a lower instance than abortion in the general population because abortion inflicts another trauma on the woman – and worse, it is one that puts her in the position of aggressor.
  • “You want women to have back alley abortions that aren’t safe!!!” It was generally doctors performing abortions when they were illegal, just like it is generally doctors performing them now. That is not a genuine concern. What should be of concern is that women are neither counseled about nor made aware of the health risks of abortion, both mentally and physically.
  • “You want to control women’s bodies!!!” No, I want women to control their own bodies and stop getting pregnant with babies they don’t want and/or can’t take care of. It’s pretty simple and it’s really not that difficult to fucking do.
  • “You’re not pro-life! You’re pro-birth!!!” My husband and I have 3 children and helped raise 5 – yes, 5 – children that are not ours, including having 4 of them live with us for years, bringing the total in our home to 7. We are parents to them in every way, even to this day. Their children will be looked upon as grandchildren by us. They were not foster children and we received absolutely no financial help with their care whatsoever from their parents or the government. My interest and concern for human beings does not end with the birth canal. Come at me.
  • “You don’t care about women’s rights!!!” Yes, I do. Women are human beings and I care about human rights. Unborn human beings belong in that category. If we are making emotional arguments here, allow me to counter yours with my own: Why do you think people should have the right to kill their own children just because they want to? If it’s OK to kill them in the womb, why is it not OK to kill them later? Are newborns human beings? Are they sentient? Are they conscious in the way adults are? I read a paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics a few years ago entitled, “After-birth Abortion: Why Should The Baby Live?” that endorsed the killing of born babies using the same arguments made to justify abortion. The authors stated that “killing a newborn should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.” The paper claimed that babies are “morally irrelevant” and that it is “not possible to damage a newborn by preventing her from developing the potentiality to become a person in the morally relevant sense.” The crux of the argument is that a fetus and an infant are “morally equivalent.” These arguments have been made many times, by the way; in some cases regarding children up to a year old – or older. This particular paper endorsed “no threshold.” If you are a person who agrees with the justifications for abortion, you are left with absolutely no argument for what these people are saying, other than “Because it’s just wrong after the baby is born.” That isn’t much of an argument and it begs the question: if one is OK and not the other, what does this mean? It means you either have to agree that killing babies after they are born is morally acceptable or you have to agree that abortion is not morally acceptable. It can’t be both ways. The larger question is: This is all OK because of women’s rights? I once had a lady say to me, “If you take politics out of it, it’s really a women’s rights issue.” I said, “Ma’am, women’s rights is politics. You take that out of it and all we are talking about here is dead babies.”

Often, the people making these emotionally-overwrought accusations try to construct their pro-choice arguments within the sketchy framework that “abortion is the compassionate option for unwanted children” but they are too afraid to just come out and say that because they realize what it sounds like. It sounds like “These people are better off dead.” And they’re right; it sounds every bit as bad as they think it does. If I may be permitted to indulge in an emotional argument myself here, where does anyone get off claiming they know what is best for another person? Isn’t that the whole point of the pro-choice movement? “You don’t know what’s best for me and you can’t make my decisions for me!” But they think they should have that power? They believe that a person will not have a “good life” once they are born and they think they should be able to make the decision that the person is better off dead? Where does this self-righteous, narcissistic mindset stop?

It’s ironic and amazing that those who claim to be championing freedom and choice think they should be able to hold the ultimate power over others.