‘Why is masculinity so fragile?’

Masculinity is a default or orthodoxy like whiteness or straightness or, in the southern United States, evangelical Christianity. It’s a standard you’re measured against that at best can be complete but is easily made incomplete.

American orthodoxy is based on one-drop rules.

Continue reading “‘Why is masculinity so fragile?’”

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‘As a white male, how can I be sympathetic to movements that demonize my being?’

HUMAN 1
Just remain silent and understand you’re actually the empowered one.

HUMAN 0
I mean, maybe it’s actually this. To some extent, I understand that the underlying message is that “these people are angry” and that the use of “white male” as a scapegoat is just “the easiest tangible target for anger.”

However, when I feel specifically targeted, I can’t help but feel like it is in my personal self-interest to actively undermine movements that use this sort of rhetoric.

Assume for a moment reincarnation does exist and when you die, you’ll be reborn as a human again.

Without any guarantee of what your demographic characteristics would be, what sort of society would you want to live in?

Continue reading “‘As a white male, how can I be sympathetic to movements that demonize my being?’”

‘Why are people in the south Republican when they should be fiscally liberal?’

HUMAN 1
1. Lack of education means a lot of people can’t actually determine what economic policies are good for them or bad for them.

2. People who can’t discern the effects policy decisions will have on them latch onto any explanation that sounds adequate by people they trust and believe.

3. Politicians who wish to manipulate the uneducated and ignorant tell these people what they want to hear rather than present sound policy decisions because these people do not understand policies.

4. Once people have heard a politician tell them what they want to hear they will associate the policy decisions these politicians advocate for as being good for them.

5. When no one understands the effects certain policy decisions will have you can pretty much argue any policy decision as being good for anybody as long as you sound convincing. For example: “We should lower taxes to create jobs. With lower taxes more companies will have more money to create jobs.” People want to hear how they will get more jobs. Lowering taxes does mean companies will have more money so they could hire more people this ought to work.” Then people assume the job tbey get will be a good job so they don’t worry about social programs since they won’t need them once they have a job which lower taxes will get them.

If you’re saying education, you’re missing a step.

Southerners could have improved their school systems long ago.

White Southerners, and rural people in general, are voting for their interests. They’re just voting for their interests relatively instead of absolutely.

To feel like you’re doing better, you need to be doing better than someone else. It’s more important to put a floor under you and have people in a status you can never descend to—a status they can never climb from—because then you have security.

Continue reading “‘Why are people in the south Republican when they should be fiscally liberal?’”

‘Greeks called people “barbarians”, so how can anyone act like Apartheid was a big deal?’

Walter Williams’ recent column on comparative slavery is intellectually dishonest in general, but his misquotation of abolitionist Frederick Douglass is either an especially egregious example of that, or he’s never bothered to even glance at it in context.

Williams accurately quotes from this sentence in a speech by Douglass examining whether the original U.S. Constitution was pro- or anti-slavery:

[The three-fifths compromise] is a downright disability laid upon the slaveholding States; one which deprives those States of two-fifths of their natural basis of representation.

But as Douglass continues, it becomes clear he in no way endorses such accounting and would have preferred enslaved people not be counted at all: Continue reading “‘Greeks called people “barbarians”, so how can anyone act like Apartheid was a big deal?’”

‘Why do liberals hate facts?’

HUMAN 1
I am assuming that the computer program did not factor in race at all and instead focused on actual circumstances which black people just tend to be worse off in. Then ‘ProPublica’ got outraged when doing simple data mining because working to actually resolve and understand issues has been well outside of the American left’s wheelhouse for decades.

HUMAN 2
The algorithm is literally biased

Yeah, you can say you have a completely race-blind algorithm, but if it’s blind to racism impacting the data, it’s going to have a result that suffers from racism as well.

For example, asking, ‘Was one of your parents ever sent to jail or prison?’ is really closely akin to asking whether someone’s grandparent was a slave before forcing them to pay a poll tax or take a literacy test. The question may not be inherently racist, but the question it’s asking is addressing a reality that was racist and affected people disproportionately.

If you’re white, your parents are less likely to have been arrested by police for smoking weed in the 1970s. If you’re white, you’re more likely to have gotten off with a warning when you got in a fight in high school than prosecuted for a felony. If you’re white, you probably have a social network that can provide you with a job more easily because your family, friends, neighborhood, and classmates were allowed to inherit and increase their wealth.

An algorithm that perpetuates systemic biases probably is not a well-designed one. Continue reading “‘Why do liberals hate facts?’”

‘What do you think of gentrification?’

Gentrification is a problem because it flows from historical discrimination, and the power dynamics tend to fall along those lines.

If everyone had equal wealth, or if wealth really were distributed according to merit, gentrification might just be some unpleasant but necessary feature of changing economies, labor markets, and urban life.

But instead what we have in the United States is a society where some groups have been robbed of wealth generation after generation, and others have been gifted that wealth and allowed to inherit it instead. So even if most de jure racism either is no longer on the books or can’t be openly enforced, we still have the equivalent of grandfather clauses operating all over the place.

Continue reading “‘What do you think of gentrification?’”

‘Feminists: why are there so few stay at home dads?’

HUMAN 1
The simplest reason is when you consider the initial disruption, pay differences, and to an extent social expectations it becomes relatively more expensive. This accumulates with more children — even if you have a stay-at-home dad, the mother is still going to pay a substantial cost for each birth.

Whether that happens in aggregate, I don’t know, but it certainly explains some of the effect.

I’d bet that the number of women who can support a family solely on their income is fairly small. The average woman makes about $150 less per week than the average man. Continue reading “‘Feminists: why are there so few stay at home dads?’”

Sometimes spiders make flies zip back up

HUMAN 0
Meanwhile the law in North Carolina…

Under North Carolina law, women can’t withdraw consent during sex

A case of alleged sexual assault in North Carolina has brought to light an antiquated law stipulating that a person cannot be charged with rape if consent was given at the beginning of the sexual encounter.

As The Fayetteville Observer reports, 19-year-old Aaliyah Palmer says she was at a party when a man pulled her into the bathroom. She consented to have sex with him, but asked him to stop when he became violent. He did not listen.

Compounding Palmer’s trauma is the fact that four soldiers who were at the party — one of whom is a captain — have been accused of making or possessing a video of the encounter. But despite video evidence documenting the incident, Palmer discovered that the alleged offender cannot be charged with rape. Under North Carolina law, women are not able withdraw consent once they agree to have sex.

HUMAN 1
Can I hear your opinion before I say something that gets me bashed on?

Continue reading “Sometimes spiders make flies zip back up”

Lewis’s trilemma isn’t complete

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God.”
C.S. Lewis

So, I’m someone who thinks that Jesus was a real, historical person if for no other reason than that he was connected to other, real historical people in clumsy ways (like his connection to John the Baptist, being baptized by him).

In addition, the New Testament books go out of their way to insert arguments going on in the time they were written in order to settle them. One of those is that Jesus’s disciples just stole his body out of the tomb and lied about the resurrection. In the earliest gospel, attributed to Mark, there’s just the mystery of his disappearance, but by the time of the gospel attributed to Matthew, they have to explain why there’s this rumor the disciples took the body in addition to going into more detail about Jesus after he came back to life.

Continue reading “Lewis’s trilemma isn’t complete”

Not all burritos are made in good taste

HUMAN 1
Progressives succeed in forcing a burrito shop run by two white women to close over “cultural appropriation.”

Yeah, this is real. This is not a joke.

Now, the alleged “appropriation” comes from the fact they observed and talked to locals in Mexico on vacation. It’s a pretty common thing to ask a few basic questions on food people like at restaurants. The shops didn’t give very much info to the women. They didn’t teach them in an intensive training. The former owners simply had a few brief conversations and showed interest in the local technique. For this crime, liberals force them out of business.

This is awful. And per the patent office, traditional recipes can’t be patented.

The women took an idea—that people apparently actively didn’t want to give to them—and then behaved with respect for the cultural source akin to someone opening a wine bar with a Communion/Mass theme.

You can understand how people with a connection to the source might react critically, how that might be persuasive to folks willing to empathize with them, and how that negative reaction might convince (but not force) them it’s better closing down.

Continue reading “Not all burritos are made in good taste”