The Deeper the Disagreement, the Higher the Stakes, the More Important the Honesty

Man, I thought the culture wars were bad when I was a kid. It’s cliche to say now that people are more divided along political lines than ever, so I’ll spare you. You know it. And that divide is particularly evident when people try to communicate with each other.

There’s the name-calling and expletive-flinging and straw-manning and worst-case-assuming, of course. But there also appear to be two sets of “acceptable” facts/statistics/anecdotes on any given issue. And there is a great deal of distrust between the warring parties (the right and the left) about the validity of those facts. This precludes any progress beyond a discussion of the facts of a case into the actual meat of what to do about something. Police brutality, racism, immigration, abortion, gender, climate change – these are all heavily politicized subjects with heavily politicized media on both sides supporting opposite viewpoints. It becomes hard to believe any facts which seem to be embraced by the other side, so both sides are left with not just different conclusions, but different premises.

This dynamic is worsened with each and every “fake news” story, doctored or selectively edited video, and false accusation promulgated by one side against the other. Targeted half-truths and falsehoods don’t just distort our ability to act – they destroy any of the trust needed for an actual conversation. As we lose and lose more agreements on the base reality of an issue (and we lose confidence that our opponent is trustworthy), talking becomes less and less worthwhile.

It’s ironic. The more passionately opposed we become to each other, the better we feel about “bending the truth” just a little. Yet this bending of the truth is the thing that ultimately defeats any chance of “winning” an argument or coming to a compromise. Telling the truth to your opponents – even when it’s hard – becomes all the more important as disagreement reaches a fever pitch.

You can be rude, loud, trenchant, critical, and the conversation can still happen. Some people even respect a passionate opponent more. But if you are deceitful, you and your “facts” will gain a reputation for deceit. No one will listen to you, and you will be doomed.

People often talk about the responsibility of news readers to reject fake news. This is good. But it is just as much our responsibility to reject lies and corruptions of truth in our own words and lives. We are now the media (if CNN hasn’t made a news story out of one of your tweets, it’s only a matter of time), and we do have some control in what happens next.

Originally published at JamesWalpole.com.

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Don’t Tread on… Anyone

I’m not “Black”. I can still tell when “Black” people are being violated, and I don’t like it. I can also see when “Black” people are violating others and I don’t like that, either.

I’m not conservative. I can still tell when conservatives are being violated and I don’t like it. I can also see when conservatives are violating others and I don’t like that, either.

It’s the same for any other category of people. Who you are isn’t the part that matters to me.

For me to only care about violations if I’m the one being violated would be childish. Yes, it’s sometimes more personal than other times, but I care if anyone is violating you for any reason, even if it’s not going to affect me. Probably even if the claim is made that it will help me.

Your equal and identical rights should be respected and protected from all violators. Your primary responsibility is to not archate. I expect everyone to live up to that responsibility.

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The Real COVID-19 Heroes

I’m coming to the opinion that those who are risking getting coronavirus are serving humanity. If the riots are doing any good, that’s it. Same for political rallies (a slow riot?) or any other gathering.

Maybe it’s not good for individuals who are under greater risk of dying from it, but this thing is going to have to run its course. The only way that’s going to happen is if most people get it– and if the experts are right (Ha!) and immunity doesn’t last long, most people are going to have to get it at roughly the same time to take away its power.

In fact, it’s probably our responsibility to get out there regardless of the risks (if any).

It seems Covid-19 has already lost most of its power to kill. Until the past couple of days, none of the 3 counties in various parts of the country I’d been watching with personal interest had had a new death attributed to coronavirus in 3 or 4 months. That’s right– three or four months. Even as reported cases of the disease have skyrocketed. That ought to tell you something.

Even the two deaths which suddenly showed up after the long “dry spell” are suspicious to me for a variety of reasons. Could my prediction about a renewed push to get people to worry about conornavirus again be coming to pass?

The panicdemic has also lost most of its ability to scare all but the most politically susceptible and scientifically ignorant. Politicians and other political people are desperate for you to stay scared so you’ll give power to the politicians, regardless of reality. Don’t. No threat is so great that such behavior would be a good idea.

If you are worried about the virus, please take every precaution you can. Let the rest of us do what we need to do to make the world ready for you again. Please don’t try to stop us or point and whine about us. Don’t be a karen.

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Respecting Liberty Will Still Work

The world’s a bit crazy. Not as bad here as in other places, but we see the effects of those crazy paces even here.

Pandemics, riots, gangs of trespassers setting up their own governments … what’s next? A volcano spewing out zombies?

Whatever happens next, you can rest assured that respecting liberty will still work. It always does. It would even work against the volcano zombie invasion.

No matter how crazy the world gets, you don’t have to be crazy with it.

Aren’t you glad to know we had the cure for COVID-19 the whole time? Who knew all it would take to solve the pandemic were riots? Oh, sure, some has-beens are trying to keep the pandemic panic alive. Few people are still listening to them. Their 15 minutes of fame was over before they were ready. Maybe they’ll be happy if the virus comes back for round two this fall.

Speaking of riots, don’t confuse the riots with the peaceful protests. They aren’t the same thing and didn’t involve the same people. They only happened alongside the protests because parasites saw their chance to make trouble and latched onto an important issue. It seems to have ended when the protesters realized most of us were already on their side, but the rioters were driving away support.

Then the rioters became squatters taking over property they didn’t own. Much of the national mainstream media misidentified them as “anarchists.” Will they be calling horses “dolphins” next? It would be as inaccurate.

They aren’t the only ones who think of socialistic nihilists as “anarchists.” This is what they’ve been taught. Yet, anarchy only means you accept no human master. It doesn’t mean chaos, theft, destruction, or aggression. Those who seek to misinform you never define things correctly when a scary lie works better for their purposes.

How can you know the squatters aren’t anarchists? They set up a political government in the stolen territory — this is not “anarchist” by definition. Anarchists wouldn’t set up political institutions, nor do ethical anarchists steal property from others. I know this from personal experience.

What’s a person to do?

Liberty, which is freedom tempered with responsibility, could solve all these problems to the extent they can be solved. Exercise your freedom to do whatever you want as long as it doesn’t violate the equal and identical rights of any other person. There’s no better way to live among others.

Try it and I think you’ll agree.

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Defense for The Incapable

A common tactic from those who want to at least appear to have an argument against abolishing the police is to either claim that they themselves are incapable of protecting their own life, liberty, or property, or to try to scapegoat someone else as being incapable.

Nonsense.

Plus, when you try to blame others for your desire to keep “employing” the gang, it’s rude!

I’ve seen enough examples of kids, small women, the elderly, and the disabled protecting themselves and others from archation (and so have you) that I don’t buy that anyone who isn’t completely helpless is incapable. It’s a coward’s lie.

Maybe some don’t want to accept the responsibility, but they can.

It’s not your job to coddle those who refuse, but you can if you want– at your own expense. It doesn’t give anyone the right to enslave everyone else for their imagined weaknesses.

Yes, there are some who are truly incapable of defending themselves, feeding themselves, or wiping their own butts. Nice people take care of this kind of person, sometimes for money– but society doesn’t revolve around their inability. That would be like living in a prison established to make certain that no one could be any more capable than the least capable among us. I’m not going to live that way.

Refusing to consider abolishing the police based on the lie that people who are otherwise capable can’t protect themselves is antisocial, unethical, and statist (but I repeat myself).

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Abolish The Police (and Then What?)

The completely rational idea of abolishing the police scares some people.

They think “But who would I call if someone is breaking into my house in the middle of the night?

Chances are, if that’s happening, it’s a wrong-address police raid and you’re about to be killed, and calling more police to the scene isn’t going to help you. I’m sorry if this news upsets you, but you need to face reality eventually.

On the off-chance it’s a freelance thug breaking in, you have better options than calling the police even now.

Take responsibility for your own defense— you ought to be doing this first anyway. Calling someone else should always be a last-ditch response. You are there now; they aren’t. What could happen before someone arrives to save you? Almost anything. You are the first responder, and you always have been. Act like it.

If you still feel the need to call back-up: Call your neighbors. If any of my neighbors called in the middle of the night, I’d respond.

If that doesn’t work for you, there are still options better than inviting the Blue Line Gang to your house and facing the very real possibility they’ll shoot you by “mistake”.

Use Cell411.

Or call a crackhead.

Or, use the money you should be saving by not being “taxed” to fund those badged tax junkies to hire private security– ones who will actually be contractually obligated to protect you, individually … unlike police.

Or think of another option that suits you better.

The thing is, to imagine that abolishing the police would leave you helpless is what the police would like you to believe, but it’s not even close to reality. The “reasons” to not abolish the police are as flimsy as the “reasons” people once used to say it wasn’t possible to abolish chattel slavery. In hindsight, those “reasons” look stupid, dishonest, or evil.

You have options; better options. You can create new options. Police must be off the table to free you to find better solutions.

Abolish the police!

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