Dailyish Thoughts #91

I did my act of violence today. Defensive violence that is. And like many acts of self defense a few blows made it through. You win some and you lose some.

Florida has proven itself a bit bipolar, or super lazy. Vote for tax caps but not decreases. Vote against socialists but in favor of militarizing the police. Vote for the “rights” of victims while effectively taking Constitutional protections from defendants. Not to mention unintended consequences: the hundreds of dogs which will be euthanized because they will be out of a job, all because people want to “protect” them.

Oh well. It’s time for bed. Can’t wait to see the responses of the psychos tomorrow.

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Dailyish Thoughts #90

Tomorrow is election day. I have missed the early voting window. Woops. I gotta make my cheat sheet in between training and working. Chances of actually getting to the polls? Fair to nil. But if I do, I promise to report how it went.

Training for what, you ask? Today was my first day of school bus driver training. I’m already knee deep in rules and procedures! Oh well, I’ll figure it out.

Today’s real adventure was watching a jerk in a big lifted truck drive away after rear ending someone. Word of wisdom for the next time you try to do this sir or madam: don’t stop at the light right next to the person you hit. Pictures were taken, plate numbers recorded, and police called. I suspect you’ve already been visited by a deputy. Or just you know… Admit your mistake and stay at the scene.

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An AnCap Take on Voting

Voting… Every year it seems that we get a barrage of election mail and our medians and street corners are covered in ugly signs begging us to vote for this candidate or that, vote “no” on this, or vote “yes” on that. Every election is “the most important election we have ever seen”. The message that everyone should vote is drilled into our heads time and time again.

I just chuckle at all of this madness.

Due to travel I have not been able to vote in the past several elections. It wasn’t for lack of trying either. I applied for absentee ballots, but was informed that I had to have an address on file in my local precinct, something that had to be filed in person, at least a month before the election. So I gave up.

The whole situation got me thinking, can a consistent AnCap vote? I don’t believe in the monopoly of power that is government, what business do I have choosing who runs that monopoly? I don’t believe others have the right to select my master, why should I be a hypocrite and seek to choose theirs?

So I have decided I will not vote for candidates. It would be hypocritical for me to compel others to live under someone I have chosen but they have not consented to. I don’t want others to choose my king, why should I choose theirs?

However, given the chance, I don’t see how it’s hypocritical to vote on amendments and such, when one is voting in favor of more freedom. For example, Amendment 1 on the Florida ballot this year expands Florida’s property tax Homestead Exemption drops taxes on 60% of homesteaded properties (according to some sources). Number 2 keeps in place a limit on tax increases. Number 4 restores voting “rights” to felons who have not committed murder or sexual crimes. 5 is an amendment that would require a super majority for the legislature to raise taxes. These are no brainers.

The rest? Not so obvious. Florida has a fun way of blending several unrelated things into one amendment which makes it even more difficult for careful people to parse out their votes. One section of a proposal might sound great, but the rest is terrible. Or like 6 the amendment may have a ton of great ideas but then ending up striking down someone’s constitutional rights.

I may or may not get down to the polls this year. Life’s been crazy lately and it’s hard to get even time for myself, much less time for my “civic duty”. Plus it takes time to read through the amendments and not just rely on the opinions of others to make my decisions. So if I do, I will let you know how it goes.

If not, oh well.

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Dailyish Thoughts #87

I love random 20 year old single men who have never met me or talked to me throwing insults. It shows real character to download an image of someone, make an insulting meme out of it, and then send it to them without any other word. Is this what passes for rational discourse in this culture? I love a good meme, but really dude, this is amateur.

‘Twas a good night for Ubering. So many drunk people, so little time. Apparently I am THE BEST Uber driver ever. Sure drunk people, I’ll take it.

Sleeeeeeep

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Dailyish Thoughts #83

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Coming to Florida soon

Back in Florida. All good things must come to an end, and our working vacation was no exception. Tomorrow I have an interview, and the next day, and the next day, and Monday. It’s going to be a looooong week. So many options. I kinda just want to keep freelancing, but in order to get a car to freelance, I need a “real” job.

Long drives allow for much thinking. So much thinking…. At some point I hope my life slows down enough to write it all down. I’ll sum up: Most of the Social Justice people are virtue signalling narcissists. Most of the social justice movement isn’t really concerned with helping people as it is concerned with it’s own image. Most of it also hinges on a collectivist worldview. Patriarchy and much of the “Christian” marriage and child raising advice out there makes your spouse and children into your enemy. Leftists are like locusts, they move out of the states they have decimated to states like Florida and then elect leftists who in turn decimate the new state, driving them to move to another state and begin the cycle anew.

There were other ones but it is late and I have an interview tomorrow. Go read the links and get an idea of my background before I write more and confuse you!

 

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The Toxicity of Masculinity

A well articled subject.

Buzzwords are notorious for having hard to pin down definitions.

Definitions of buzzwords are frequently dependent on the social or political persuasion of the individual being asked. This is why I tend to avoid them, they are imprecise and often meaningless to a real search for truth.

One such buzzword (buzzphrase?) getting a ton of use lately is “Toxic Masculinity” (“TM” for brevity).

I have seen “TM” used by hard core feminists and not so hard core feminists alike. “TM” gets blamed for everything from manspreading to mass shootings.

Basically anything that men do in quantifiable measures more than women can be reduced to “toxic masculinity” depending on who you talk to.

I am a fan of one definition I found. This is the definition that describes toxic masculinity as a cultural push to make men into “manly men”.

In “TM” culture, men are supposed to be hyper-sexual, hyper-aggressive, unemotional, aloof, and unable to nuture or show compassion. Any man who is not “manly” on these terms is a “cuck” or any number of other derogatory terms. I have no problem opposing that kind of “toxic masculinity”.

It is destructive to men and women to define men in such terms.

It’s not just the culture at large where we see this push. The concept of “wild” men is quite prevalent in the church as well. Men are supposed to be “wild at heart” and their wives should not seek to “tame” (ie emasculate) them by insisting on their emotional availability. Men are supposed to be strong and quiet and never let their wives see them as weak or insecure (ie human). Godly men don’t need to be corrected by their wives, that would undermine his role as strong leader. He is to be left to his own devices, after all, God did make him strong for a reason.

This kind of “masculinity” is just as repugnant as the world’s view of men as womanizers and aggressors. But, as one article points out, it’s a culture, not a real masculinity. The problem is not masculinity itself, but the way we have defined it.

Frequently I see “toxic masculinity” used whenever any injustice (real or perceived) against women occurs. By this definition “toxic masculinity” is at play even when something as simple as a book without a strong female character is in question (or if that character is a “strong female“) .

If women aren’t proportionately represented in a particular job class, it’s probably the fault of “toxic masculinity”. If a man rapes a woman, he must have been raised in “toxic masculinity”. In the mind of many of the hyper-feminists out there, it seems like nothing ever happens apart from it.

Could it, in the definition I appreciate, be at play in any and all of these things? Maybe. But always? And to the point where every time a disproportionate hiring or a rape or a mass shooting occurs we need to automatically place it in the “guilty” category?

I don’t think so. Nailing down why a bad thing happens in this world is hardly ever simple, labeling it with a buzzword to raise “awareness” (another buzzword) is not going to stop it from happening again.

I also have seen “toxic masculinity” blamed when any gendering of a person takes place. If you call a girl “pretty” or a boy “handsome” or “strong” without correcting your speech to say boys can be pretty or girls strong you are guilty of a pernicious crime. In this view any promotion of gender differences is automatically supporting “toxic masculinity.”

Gender differences do exist. The problem is not that genders exist, the problem is that we gender things. We gender colors, blue is a boy color, pink is for girls. We gender toys, dolls are for girls, cars are for boys. We gender personalities, females are nurturing, males are rough and aggressive.

It is not the fault of toxic masculinity that boys can’t like pink and play gently with dolls. It’s the fault of a culture that likes efficiency in distinction. “Boys are boys and do these boy things. Girls are girls and do these girl things.” Our culture likes cut and dry distinctions, anything outside of the norms makes it uncomfortable.

I think this is also why buzz words and catch all phrases gain such traction. It is easier to blame a concept of “Toxic Masculinity” when men do horrible things than it is to dissect individual factors.

I have a hard time adopting phrases that get adopted by the uber political class. They water down and change meanings all the time to fit their needs. Words and phrases get overused and misused and no one can quite pin down exactly what is being communicated.

Words have meaning, and words without meaning have no place in rational discourse.

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Kavanaugh, That is All

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You know, I don’t normally pay attention to politics anymore. Honestly, being an ancap, I really don’t have a horse in the game. I couldn’t care less what party is in power, as long as they all leave me alone. Nor do I really care if Brett Kavanaugh gets the seat on the Supreme Court.

That said, it’s history in the making so I was compelled to tune in to the hearings. Here are my thoughts, whatever they are worth to you:

  1. What a s#*tshow. All the Republicans want to do is jabber on about how bad the Democrats are. All the Democrats want to do is ask the nominee a bunch of gotcha questions which have little to do with determining the validity of the accusations against him.
  2. Judging by the media and social media mudslinging, due process is not really a thing any more in this country. If you’re a conservative, he’s not guilty and she’s a terrible monster. If you’re a liberal, he’s a monster and she’s a poor victim of literally the whole of society. No one really wants to go through the process of comparing allegations to witness accounts or evidence, we just go ahead and assume guilt one way or the other based on whether it fits our politics.
  3. Personally, I’m going to agree with Kavanaugh on this: she was assaulted at some time in her life. Given the lack of witnesses or evidence against him, and given the positive statements about him and other evidence in his favor I don’t believe we can definitively say it was him who committed the assault.
  4. If I have to make a call, I’m going to say the committee rules that the Senate vote proceed. And I’d bet he gets the seat. Mostly because of the slant of current politics though. If the Democrats had a complete majority in the Senate, he wouldn’t get the seat.

But then again, like I said, I don’t pay that much attention. I could be completely wrong about how this will turn out.

But the circus sure is fascinating.

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Daily Thoughts #61

Put students first, except the ones with your opinions…
I’m so glad we live in a tolerant nation. So tolerant they screwed my friend out of an important opportunity because the powers that be found something “derogatory” on his social media. Maybe it’s just me, but simple opposition to someone’s life choices or habits hardly qualifies as “derogatory.”

Glad I did my research and discovered that drinking my Kentucky Mules from unlined copper will NOT give me copper poisoning. Unless it has been sitting for a day or two, and I drink a liter, if either of those are true I have other problems.

It was a slow day today. Which is good. I needed one!

If anyone is in the Cloudcroft, NM area I have several more days of loneliness (yes, even with the five kids loneliness does occur), maybe you want to hit up the brewery? It would be fun to meet a reader. Any of the three out there….

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EBT: The Crutch That Keeps On Crippling

I’m hesitant to write this, because it’s a bit embarrassing. Especially considering my position on the State in general.

We are on food stamps.

There, I said it.

One of the reasons I started doing all those odd jobs and writing a series on them is that through several life choices and bad financial decisions we found ourselves in debt and falling behind. Not necessarily insurmountable amounts, but enough that food became something we skimped on.

After several years of stretching a food budget of $100/week to feed a family of seven, we decided that instead of continuing to be hungry a lot, we would rather get into the very system we hate and use the money saved to try to dig out of this debt. It wasn’t an easy choice. Once the card got to us it wasn’t easy to go into the store and face the cashier with it. Being fed with someone else’s money is embarrassing.

But we didn’t intend to stay on SNAP. We intended to improve our situation.

However, now that we have used the system, I am convinced it is not there to help people out of a bad situation. I am convinced that it is merely a system to shovel money into people’s laps whether they need it or not. It is hoped that by dumping this money into the hands of needy people the State will come out looking like a benevolent nanny, leading people out of poverty and somehow stimulatong the economy with money that it removed from the economy in the first place.

Why am I convinced of this?

Well, for one, the whole setup disincentivises work. Just like my experience with unemployment, SNAP reduces its benefits commensurate with any increase in income. That increase in income could be as simple as a few extra overtime hours, or a bonus for working harder. This adjustment is of course intended to make sure benefits only go to those who truly need it. Obviously anyone who works hard and makes more money doesn’t need the help. The obvious unintended consequence of this is that people only work as much as they have to to ensure they keep the maximum benefit. Why work more when one knows one will lose a certain amount of “free” money?

The other interesting effect of having our SNAP benefit reduced commensurate with an increase (even temporarily) in pay is that now we have less money to pay back debts and dig ourselves out of the hole. Sure, our monthly income increased by $600 for that month, but instead of having that money available for reducing debt and pulling ourselves out of the hole, we have to spend that extra on groceries instead. And since that increase was only temporary, once a normal paycheck comes in, we are back to our original $100/week budget, and square one.

SNAP is a crutch, but instead of being a crutch that helps families heal from financial difficulties, this crutch just keeps them crippled by reducing incentives to work and reducing the ability to make any headway in paying down debts.

I have a few suggestions for this program, not that anyone with any power will listen.

The first is this: hire financial advisors. Ask SNAP applicants about their debt, ask them about their income, ask them about their monthly food budget. Find out what they are going to do with the money they save on food. Are they going to pay down debt? Are they going to get an education? What are they doing with their subsidy? Help them formulate a plan to improve their situation so they can get off of the system.

The second: don’t reduce benefits because of overtime, bonuses, or temporary increases in earnings. Instead, track what the SNAP user is doing with that extra income. If they squander it, perhaps there is a reason to reduce benefits. If they are using it to better themselves, don’t knock their legs out from under them by reducing their food allowance.

Third: base benefits off of base income. This goes hand in hand with the last one. If benefits are based on base salary the incentive to work overtime remains the same.

Fourth: eliminate the system altogether. This may be the least politically correct way to handle the problem but it would force local communities to do something about hungry people in their midst. It may also create an incentive to form insurance type food programs. Members pay a monthly fee to a “food insurance” type program which pays them back a weekly stipend for times when money is tight.

Personally I long for the day when I am debt free and financially stable. We thought SNAP would help with that goal, we couldn’t have been more wrong.

Imperialism and Hobbes

Yes, I am bringing up Hobbes again. Since we have decided to drop bombs on Syria (again) it seems apt to point out that Hobbes would blame us all for the deaths of innocents abroad. In fact, Hobbes would also blame the Syrians themselves for whatever their dictator did. Come to think of it, in the world of Hobbes there are no innocents.

Over the past couple of days I have seen people saying that Trump voters have blood on their hands, only to be told that they, as non-voters, also have blood on their hands.

Isn’t it great to live in a world where no matter what you believe or do, you are “responsible” for the deaths of thousands and millions?

Thank you, Hobbes, for planting in our heads this ridiculous idea that just because we are born in a certain geographic region under a certain tyrant we are somehow not only subject to his whims but responsible for his sins. Thanks for giving us this preposterous idea that tyranny is legitimate as long as it is passed down successively under a set of rules laid down two hundred years ago.