Friday Ethics Sigh, 12/20/2019: Klobuchar, Buttigieg, Rowling, And An Idiot.

Tomorrow the dreaded tree lights hanging begins….

I’m not a big Sinatra fan, but I’ve always thought it a shame that the two Christmas songs he “owns” are both mediocre: “The Christmas Waltz” and “Mistletoe and Holly (which he co-wrote.) Frank sang the whole canon, of course, and well, but still, Judy Garland owns “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” Nat King Cole owns “The Christmas Song” (even though Mel Torme wrote it), Bing has “White Christmas” (and others,), Gene Autry has “Rudolph…” and “Here Comes Santa Claus” even after Bruce Springstein stole “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” away from him, but Ol’ Blue Eyes is second or third best to lesser singers on the really great songs, leaving him with those two wan ditties to call his own. It’s unfair.

1. The social media mobs are after J.K Rowling. Her offense? British Researcher Maya Forstater was fired last year by a London think tank for her “gender critical” views, including the position that “it is impossible to change sex.” Forstater filed a lawsuit earlier this year alleging discrimination, but an employment tribunal in London ruled against her this week, holding that her views were “not a philosophical belief protected” by British law but were instead “incompatible with human dignity and fundamental rights of others. It is also a slight of hand to suggest that the claimant merely does not hold the belief that trans women are women. She positively believes that they are men and will say so whenever she wishes.” The court  added that Forsater held beliefs that are “not worthy of respect in a democratic society.”

No, they don’t believe in freedom of speech or thought in the UK. Remind people of this when they make one of those fatuous “the U.S. is the only developed country in the world that doesn’t do X” arguments. We are special.

Harry Potter’s mom criticized that ruling and said she supported  Forstater: “Dress however you please,”  Rowling  tweeted  to her more than 14 million followers (this makes me want to hurl myself into a shredder, as I desperately try to recover the lost Ethic Alarms followers since 2016). “Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya.”

Oh, sex, gender, whatever. I know that to trans individuals the distinctions are a matter of honor, identity and self-esteem, and as far as I’m concerned, if an XY individual has changed everything but her chromosomes and wants to be regarded as, treated as and referred to as a woman, I will accommodate her in the interests of comity, kindness, and the Golden Rule. However, if someone as a matter of linguistic or biological rigor (or pedantry) wants to insist that such an individual is still technically female, that’s a legitimate, if unpopular, position.  This is a dispute about manners and definitions, not facts.

The researcher should not have been fired, and Rowling’s tweet was not “transphobic.”

2. A couple of Democratic debate notes before I post on the whole annoying mess…The PBS and Politico moderators were unusually tough, rigorous, and professional, a model for all future debates. I’m basing this on the transcript, as I was in no shape to watch live last night.

The second note is this, which can’t wait til tomorrow or it will grow into a fatal aneurysm and kill me like. Senator Amy Klobuchar, who is being widely praised for a strong debate performance, followed up a self-righteous speech about how  “the experience that I will bring to the White House, with protecting the First Amendment, is worth more than any talking points” with a talking point about the need to pass  a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.

This is hypocrisy squared, and like so much Democratic smoke and mirrors, depends upon public ignorance of the Constitution. Such an amendment would become the first to reduce the protection offered by the Bill of Rights, and not just any right, but the most important of them all, the Freedom of Speech. Thus Klobuchar professes to revere the First Amendment, but only to the extent that it allows the news media to continue to abuse its democratic function of informing the public by acting as a partisan ally of her party. As for the rest of that Amendment she claims to love, she wants to restrict it.

Don’t trust Amy.

3. A cheap shot at Buttigieg.  This also came up during the debate, but I was going to write about it one way of the other.

Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg was the beneficiary of a campaign fundraiser for wealthy Bay Area donors this week. He wined and dined with the rich and woke at the Napa Valley enclave of Hall Wines in St. Helena, courtesy of Craig and Kathryn Hall, the winery’s billionaire owners who have given millions to the Democratic Party. The venue was an underground grand hall lit by a chandelier featuring 1,500 Swarovski crystals.  (The wine served was falsely reported to be $900 a bottle.)

Press access to the event was restricted to  Buttigieg’s prepared remarks online.

The South Bend mayor was immediately attacked for using glitter to suck up to glitterati. As a professional fundraiser for many years, I can attest that you don’t get big donors to donate big without making them feel pampered and loved, and lavish settings are a time tested method of doing that. Fundraising for Georgetown Law Center, I once helped arrange a gourmet dinner (on golden chargers) in the grand hall of a San Francisco museum, followed by a private tour of the King Tut treasures, then on tour in the U.S. That’s how you raise money.

4. A Naked Ex-Miss Kentucky Teacher Who’s Also An Idiot Principle?  Ramsey BethAnn Bearse, 29, was crowned Miss Kentucky in 2014. She  was working as a teacher in West Virginia when she started chatting with a student using a social media app. She meant to send some nude  photographs to her husband ( she says) but sent them to the teen by mistake. The teen asked for more photos, not surprisingly, and she complied, she told investigators,  because she “was afraid to not to .”

Oh.

Then  the teen’s parents found the photos on his phone and contacted the authorities.

At least, as  Bearse pleaded guilty, she  took full responsibility for her actions. “Since I am the adult, and he was just a teenager, it is my fault, and I accept full blame for the situation,” Bearse said. “So that’s how I’m guilty of this crime. I messed up big-time.”

Why yes, she did. She may get up to two years in prison will be  required to register as a sex offender.

42 thoughts on “Friday Ethics Sigh, 12/20/2019: Klobuchar, Buttigieg, Rowling, And An Idiot.

  1. This statement strikes me as odd:

    “However, if someone as a matter of linguistic or biological rigor (or pedantry) wants to insist that such an individual is still technically female, that’s a legitimate, if unpopular, position. This is a dispute about manners and definitions, not facts.”

    Legitimate but unpopular? Really? It’s nice to know that biology is still biology, unpopular though it may be. I get The Golden Rule issue. If someone wants to identify as a different sex, and requests that I refer to said person as that sex, it would be rude of me not to do so. But, I won’t be fooled into thinking that the person’s sex has somehow magically changed.

    The issue, though, isn’t the Golden Rule. It is compelling what someone must think and speak. JK Rowling stated what she believed and has been subjected to abuse. Where is the corresponding Golden Rule from the attackers, right? The Mob declared she is a transphobe. Nonsense. Thus, we don’t lose rights by big, blunt government fiat. We lose rights little by little, loss/death by a thousand cuts. Great Britian surrendered to The Mob and punished a researcher for thoughts that run against the prevailing current. The danger in this Double Speak us that, once currency changes, the current thinkers will be deemed enemies of the people. Be careful what you wish for – it might have sharp teeth.

    jvb

    • ‘Transphobe’ is just another one of those synonyms for illegal sanity. Nonsense subversion politics should have been dealt with by forcibly committing adherents to asylums. Everyone always thought so and still does, but it looks so mean on camera.

      The wages of niceness: Sane people don’t have a taste for penalizing insanity, but they know deep down they should set limits. People scream and howl that their clearly-false ideas are their own choices, and don’t hurt anybody. The sane relent on their known responsibilities, and the insane form collectives with the intent to seize control and mandate their bizarre, disordered will. Sanity becomes forbidden, the world ruled by those who trade in currencies of pet lies.

      Tolerance begets more “tolerance,” and the old warnings about the corrupting power of vice, after being ignored for a few comfortable generations of prosperity, spring to life, incontrovertible physical Laws that they are. Vice poisons the mind in a way that compromises the vicious man in the same way as an ascending dependence on illicit drugs changes someone who sees and responds to the world as it is around him into someone who sees everyone and everything simply as a means to acquiring his next hit. Anyone who’s managed his own life to any degree knows it, but will deny it in mixed company. A society of fat lazy drunks who could deny the existence of gravity because they lied in bed for a few decades finds that confidence and a snide attitude toward opinions made unpopular through media narratives can’t actually change reality.

      I’ll see you in the gulags when the pendulum swings back! It’ll be better in there anyway. People are almost too corrupt to do anything useful now. It’s so much easier to do nothing and expect that the next guy will do all the hard work, you see. Have you tried to teach basic unit conversions to the average undergraduate in the last decade? I have! They’ll be desperately killing and eating each other without us.

  2. as I desperately try to recover the lost Ethic Alarms followers since 2016

    Stop defending Trump. Stop attacking and insulting everyone who sees heterosexual prince Regal as the orange-colored Mussolini that he is. Do more write-ups of christmas movies to put in the rotation with your It’s a Wonderful Life one. Do 12 days of christmas ethics movies and have repeatable content for years to come*

    More baseball, lots more baseball.

    Book reviews.

    More song and dance numbers. Your J K Rollings commantry might have gone over better if set to the tune of Anything Goes

    Did I mention baseball?

    More even moderating. you Tend to pounce on the left-leaning while sitting silent when right-wing douchebags say things you’d never allow to be said to you.

    The maxim is “Qui tacet consentit”: the maxim of the law is “Silence gives consent”. If therefore you wish to construe what my silence betokened, you must construe that I consented.

    — Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons

    And there’s still the matter of the boon I asked.

    *Miracle on 34’th Street, The Lemondrop Kid, Home Alone 2 Lost in New York (featuring one Donald John Trump), Remember the Night, A Christmas Prince, A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Lion in Winter, Love Actually, A Christmas Story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Shop Around the Corner

    • Thanks for your input.
      I am not defending Trump, but rather opposing the irresponsible converted fanatics who mischaracterize and denigrate the leader of the nation to undermine him and the institutions that, for good or ill, brought him to power. I defend his right to be President, against the ignorant, emotional and intellectually poisoned. I would be more critical of Trump if it didn’t add to an unjust and dishonest critical mass of false or exaggerated accusations.

      Attacking this President is a cult, a sick addiction.In the interests of national values and ethics, it is more important by far to slap back the coup than to further weaken the President. When the anti-Trump collective stops lying, cheating and weakening the nation, I’ll focus on Trump’s ethics, which stink and have always stunk. But he is holding the line, and persevering. I admire him for that, at least.

      Frankly, V, I regard those who can’t see what’s going on as brainwashed, juvenile, or ignorant. Or just plain stupid, and unethically so. I was just reading about how many Americans think that the impeachment vote means Trump isn’t President. That’s the quality of citizen that’s supporting his enemies.

      • To be even blunter, I’ve sacrificed a great deal by maintaining ethical integrity to oppose the mistreatment of someone I detest. I’m not going to be criticized by those who lack that integrity, or the knowledge and perspective that have guided me.

  3. I always used to get my wife so mad when I would say, “Gee, I don’t know. Either trans people are legitimately a different gender than they think, or they are suffering from a weird kind of delusion. If they are suffering from a delusion, we’re doing them a horrible disservice by not treating the underlying delusion, and allowing them to essentially carve up their bodies. It would be easy if there was a magic wand to change genders. But there isn’t. And won’t be for a long time. I’m not sure we should just throw away the possible delusion argument, especially if doing so actually hurting people.”

    I really didn’t think I was being all that unreasonable. But, apparently liberals think such logic is transphobic and evil. I never really understood why.

    • It is unreasonable because you have chosen to retreat into a deliberately ignorant position and then pretend that you’re the aggrieved party. You could have read a book on the topic, or three. Done a quick google on history, found a FAQ or even spent five minutes of thought before pronouncing judgment in the form of a question.

      Why not treat the “delusion?’

      Where’s your Nobel in medicine? No one could have ever thought of that before.

      Or perhaps they did. Perhaps there’s long history of trying and failing with therapy entered in good faith by doctors and patients who noticed that something really messed-up was going on and sought solutions short of completely upending their lives.

      ‘Treat the delusion’ is just the sort of catchy phrase used by those who don’t want to think and don’t want to show the slightest bit of empathy. If you can’t understand them, that’s fine–I don’t understand most of them myself–you could try Jack’s approach, show some basic manners of the type your mother most-likely taught you, move on, and not worry about that which has nothing to do with you.

      Or keep calling them deluded and pretending that makes you the victim.

      I know which choice is the ethical one, I know not which choice you’ll make.

      • Treat the delusion’ is just the sort of catchy phrase used by those who don’t want to think and don’t want to show the slightest bit of empathy. If you can’t understand them, that’s fine — I don’t understand most of them myself — you could try Jack’s approach, show some basic manners of the type your mother most likely taught you, move on, and not worry about that which has nothing to do with you.

        With tremendous respect I assert that Jack makes a tremendous mistake with his ‘in the spirit of comity’ argument. And I can — I did — decimate that argument. I can do it here, now, and I can do it anywhere, against anyone, at any time.

        By ’empathy’ you actually mean surrender one’s intellect — one’s discerning capacity — to what is false, but in the name of emotional sympathy. Empathy means — it only means — being able to feel what someone else feels. One might have ’empathy’ for a child having a tantrum for example. But to ‘have empathy’ does not — must not! — mean allowing oneself to be manipulated by that child.

        To have ’empathy’ is not the basis of making important decisions. That requires ‘cutting clarity’ and is best done intellectually and non-emotionally.

        If you ‘can’t understand them’ — I take this to mean that you recognize that ‘they make no sense’ because they are invested in a delusion — then one cannot take the Tulsi Gabbard coward’s route and avoid taking a stand on the side of truth.

        Jack’s approach, in this case, is admirable because it is *kind* and rather soft (in comparison to his adamantine positions on other questions and issues). What you mother recommends might, and might not, be the best course. Yet you are likely better off giving credence to your father’s opinion on this matter.

        We cannot trust our necessarily emotional mothers in such important matters.

        The ‘move on’ comment is also dangerous and laden with weakness: we cannot and we never should ‘move on’ (give up asserting what is true) because if we do so we do a disservice to others, to ourself, to our children.

        Again: you have encapsulated the essential problem of our age. Turning away from truth because of the influence of emotionalism.

        • Linguistics is not “truth.” It’s communication. If we choose, when all the fact are in, to change what we call “female” or “male,” its just a label change. I prefer labels that convey more information rather than less, and that are adopted because they are better, more accurate descriptors. However, once the law says that the same sexes can marry, it is neither helpful nor ethics to keeps saying “A marriage is between a man and a woman.” It’s simply not true any more, because society defines what marriage is. Now, if society wants to decide, as so many pretend is the case for political manipulation, that immigrants and illegal immigrants are the same, they have to do that by making all immmigration legal. Until they do, they can claim that illegal immigrants are kumquats: its still a lie. The law is the law, and words have meanings.

          • Linguistics — language — may not be truth, but for words to have meaning they have to accurately describe things. If meaning is to have meaning I think we are obligated to refer to the ‘law of noncontradiction’. If that is so then we have to sharpen and hone both the language we use and the definitions that stand behind them.

            I do realize that all of this is in disarray . . .

            If the words ‘man’ and ‘woman’ are made into fluid and non-fixed categories by social convention or force-of-will (on the part of some), I think this results from failure to understand and appreciate the law of noncontradiction. When this happens (in a society) it is because people have lost the ground on which intellect rests.

            I am attempting to better understand how terms, and how language and logic, are corrupted by ’emotionalism’ and ‘sentimentalism’. I have said it man times, I am uncertain if I am understood, but I am sticking with Aristotelian and Thomist definitions, and I am opposed to allowing myself to be swept along by an emotional current.

            The corruption that I try to notice here, with this example, is a mental disease in my view, a corruption within mental processes. Something is eating away at the structures that underlie *meaning*. It can be corrected but the corrective is radical. I am just as much a victim of this *corruption* as anyone, and I suffer as much as a result of it, but I think I can begin to see a way out of the mess.

            Since the law does allow any couple to marry, yes, it is not true anymore that a legal marriage is between a man and a woman. That is true.

            But there is a very very different principle underlying the assertion that ‘a marriage is only between a man and a woman’ (and can only be between a man and a woman). The ‘law’ or a social convention, or a novelty, cannot simply do away with that principle, though it might wish to and though *society* might wish to.

            It is ‘helpful’ and also intellectually necessary, and therefore it is ethical to assert, time and again, that a marriage is only possible between a man and a woman if one is attached to the structure of ideas that undergirds that idea. I am attached to that idea. I see no way around it.

            So again, the ‘law’ and the surrounding culture — or a screeching child on a university commons 🙂 — cannot by fiat change the underlying meaning of things by whim, or by democratic vote, or by force.

            And if what I propose is true, I am duty-bound to contradict false-statements.

          • Bear with me please, this is hard to express:

            From Pink News, March 2018: The beloved Harry Potter author shocked fans yesterday when she liked a controversial tweet amid a row about the status of transgender women in the left-wing Labour Party.

            There is an opinion/article in today’s NYTs

            Harry Potter’ Helped Me Come Out as Trans, But J.K. Rowling Disappointed Me

            The author’s tweet in support of an anti-trans activist contradicts the messages of acceptance found in her stories.

            Quote from that opinion-piece by Jackson Bird:

            Ms. Rowling’s association with Ms. Forstater doesn’t come as a complete surprise; in June the author was criticized for liking a tweet by an anti-trans YouTuber, which her publicity team tried to pass off as a “clumsy and middle-aged moment.” But this week was the first time she explicitly broadcast her viewpoint to her 14 million Twitter followers.

            As a devoted Harry Potter fan who also happens to be transgender, it was like a punch in the gut.

            For the past decade, I’ve been an active player in the Harry Potter fan community, serving as the spokesperson for an independent nonprofit inspired by the boy wizard, sitting on the brain trust for a prominent Harry Potter fan conference and making videos about the impact the series has had on my life. I’ve seen the mind-blowing creativity of fans — from wizard rock music to cosplay to fan fiction that will make you weep — as well as their unparalleled capacity for positive change. Fans have organized in Harry’s name to donate over 400,000 books around the world, campaign in support of marriage equality and even convince Warner Bros. to switch to ethical sourcing for its Harry Potter-branded chocolates.

            It was this community of loving, passionate people who accepted me with open arms when I came out as transgender at the age of 25. While I was nervous about coming out to some relatives and acquaintances, I never doubted that the Harry Potter fan community would accept me for who I was. After all, we all adhered to the values we learned from the books about being yourself, loving those who are different from you and sticking up for the underdog.

            The book series, which I started reading shortly after its debut in the United States when I was 9 years old, was an escape from my lonely childhood of gender confusion. I used to dream about characters from the books showing up on my doorstep to whisk me away to the wizarding world, as they do for Harry in the first book. As I grew up and the series continued, I learned about the importance of critical thinking and standing up for your beliefs — as when Harry has to fight back against a government-sanctioned disinformation campaign denying the return of the evil wizard Lord Voldemort.

            I internalized the half-giant Hagrid’s stance on self-acceptance in “The Goblet of Fire”: “I am what I am, an’ I’m not ashamed.” I felt Harry’s grief for his classmate Cedric and godfather Sirius after the deaths of my own classmates and relatives. I saw parallels between the politics of a war-torn wizarding world and the post-9/11 landscape unfolding around me.

            Through her books, Ms. Rowling helped teach a generation the power of not just tolerance, but fierce acceptance and unconditional love. When Harry’s best friend Ron first learns that their professor Remus Lupin is a werewolf, he’s frightened and falls back on the stereotypes he’s been raised to understand, but over the years, he befriends Lupin and fights for him.

            And through all the different spells and curses we learn of in the series, it turns out that the one magic power Harry needs to defeat Voldemort, in the end, is love.”

            What I found interesting about this article-opinion piece is that it is entirely constructed around an emotional argument and within the context of a life lived through these fantasy books. What interests me is how people ‘construct a world’ that becomes an intermediary between themselves and life. I recognize that all human beings do this: we live life through our relationship with our *imagined world*. The notion here might seem a bit arcane but it is worth understanding. We live in an increasingly materialistic and mechanistic world that ‘slots’ us into specific functions. And within a sort of anomie we search for *structures of identity* or myths — which are by definition *imagined worlds* — to allow us to encounter both *meaning* and *value*.

            So Jackson Bird describes how relevant and important the situations encountered in the fantasy books helped him/her to deal with an internal conflict about both sex and gender, but when confronted with a ‘reality’ — that is something outside of the fantasy-world of fictional books — it was received ‘like a punch in the gut’.

            I am also really interested in what looks to me to be an expropriation of ‘love’ itself. If the author deals in sheer emotional arguments, and he/she does, what more powerful tool to employ in the end and at the final point but to refer to this ‘love’?

            Something really really strange is going on here. In fact I struggle to understand what it is and to express it. But what I suggest is that what we notice here with this example — Jackson Bird and his revelation of the content and ‘rules’ if you will of his/her *imagined world* — provides a diagram of what is going on in a larger context. People are investing in ‘fantasy structures’ to which they establish elaborated *identity* through which their very Self is linked. And they then demand that the larger, surrounding world, conform to their sense of things, their sense of what is good and fair and appropriate, and they say that to do this is to truly ‘love’.

            It is the Ultimate Emotional Argument!

        • And I can — I did — decimate that argument.

          Linguistics — language — may not be truth, but for words to have meaning they have to accurately describe things.

          *smirk*

      • You lose a great deal of credibility when you refer to the president as the “hetero Prince . . . the orange man Mussolini 5hat he is”. Imagine if someone referred to Obama as that half breed, dope smokin’, private property confiscatin’, national socialist.

        You are better than that. You have had ample opportunity to see Jack’s perspective on Trumpian behavior in which he takes him to task. Your argument is similar to that if you don’t agree with our doctrine completely you are derelict in your thinking and thus need reeducation.

        Personally, I would love to read countervailing opinions supported with facts. I dont need to hear unsupported opinions. I learn a great deal from Zoe on gender issues. I get pointed to some places I might not ordinarily go by Aliza. They both give me something to research. I cannot research assertions that one person’s opinion are valid no matter how loudly or angrily they assert them without comparative data.

        • No, I’m glad VG is transparent about the antiTrump bias that she thinks I should stand silently by and allow to pollute our institutions. The whole point, from the early days of “he’s a monster! A Nazi! Hitler! Insane!” which came immediately after the election, the entire process has been literally a plan of personal destruction and weakening by ad hominem bile. For the first time ever, there are multiple TV entertainment shows devoted almost entirely to denigrating the President of the United States; whole networks, op-ed columnists who almost never write about anything else. There is almost no substance, just hatred and slurs.

        • If didn’t specify a heterosexual version of prince Regal you’d think I was suggesting that Donald Trump is a homosexual.

          Or are you trying to say prince Regal was heterosexual and I’m being redundant? If that’s the case I’d have you remember Regal’s revulsion at the idea of bedding Lady Kettricken, even to gain a kingdom, the mystery companion that was in his rooms when the wedding delegation was in Jhaampe and the comments Illistore made in Fool’s Fate

          You are better than that.

          I’m so not.

        • Chris writes:

          I get pointed to some places I might not ordinarily go by Aliza.

          I much prefer Julius Evola to Benito Mussolini! If only America had a Julius Evola.

          We have to begin to see, and to internalize, where things are going and why. We are in a downward cycle, not an upward cycle, and though things are getting bad (despite even the fact that they look superficially good) we have to begin to try, at the least to try, to see just how ugly and horrifying is the downward trend that defines the present.

      • Valk

        Please help me understand something. I will stipulate that the “delusion” is precipitated by non-debilitating neurological or endocrinological differences in the human being and thus not a true delusion but a real sense of self that should be accepted and protected from discrimination.

        Should this belief extend to persons with other neurological or genetic charateristics beyond their control that causes them to run afoul of the law?

        The reason for the question is that the argument is predicated on the idea that the person has no control over how their sexual orientation manifests itself. I do agree with that. The law, being man made, can be changed to accomodate changing ideas on human sexuality. For example most sodomy laws have been repealed. We now provide, free of charge, condoms and other birth control methods in middle schools where the entry age is under 13. Why then is it admirable and necessary to be understanding and open to the trans-sexual community because they cannot change who they are when we will lock up others whose sexual orientation focuses on those same 13 year olds we gave birth control to? Are we bigots for not opening our arms to the neighborhood pedophiles.

        The point is sometimes we can change laws faster than we can recalibrate people’s moral compasses. For better or worse people do not automatically see the light another wants them to see. The unwillingness to simply accept whatever is deemed progressive does not make people bigots. I personally reject the progressive ideas of Margaret Sanger. Am I a bigot because I reject the idea of aborting imperfect humans?

      • Or perhaps they did. Perhaps there’s long history of trying and failing with therapy entered in good faith by doctors and patients who noticed that something really messed-up was going on and sought solutions short of completely upending their lives.

        what happens when we allow people to live their delusions?

        http://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanhatesthis/this-woman-had-a-powerful-response-to-the-anna-rexia-hallowe

        -4 years of hospitalization
        -A nasogastric feeding-tube because you’ve starved yourself so much that your body doesn’t recognize food as a good thing and tries to attack itself.
        -Re-Feeding Syndrome, which can kill you.
        -Emotional struggles for years.
        -A father crying and pleading on his knees begging for you to get help
        -A mother who cries every time she sees you because you look and SMELL like death.
        -Holidays missed, birthdays crying in a hospital.
        Almost every major organ in your body failing.
        -A shower chair – because you can’t stand in the shower because you’re too weak and the warm water could make you pass out.
        -A wheelchair, because you are too weak to walk and it could make you go into cardiac arrest.
        -A lifetime of medications for anxiety and the health issues “Anna Rexia” caused.
        -Plenty of money for multiple ER trips due to “Anna Rexia” even in recovery.
        -And if you don’t get help like I do, or even if you do, a coffin. Because I’ve lost more friends to this eating disorder then anything I’ve ever faced.
        -I almost died from this. I know it’s supposed to be funny and shit and yeah I get that, but seriously.

        • what happens when we allow people to live their delusions?

          My friend Napoleon goes and claims his throne.
          Norma Desmond gets her close-up
          I watch every episode of Rise and Fall of Sanctuary Moon with Murderbot.

          All rather harmless when you think about it. Live and let live, natch?

      • Empathy. One of those valuable words used by those who seek to ensure the DIC (downtrodden industrial complex) continues to thrive. And of course this DIC needs an ever expanding list of victims so the funding can keep flowing. Yes the real victims need us to hold their hands and tell them they are “good enough, smart enough, and that people like them” so we can feel good about our own pearl clutching virtue.

        Yes please read something, please find a way to conform to my “empathy” so you too can stand up, head high and know if you just say enough “transwomen are women” it will eventually be true. And remember if you don’t read the right things and more importantly – profess the right things about all the poor victims out there (the ones who need us to bestow our privilege on them so they know how good we really are) we’ll find you, censor you, and decimate your career and more.

        Should I now say I’m “same gender attracted” to affirm someone else’s view (see Stonewall in the UK that has redefined homosexuality to mean same gender not same sex) even though that couldn’t be further from the truth. Should I not call my wife my wife because she “presents masculine of center” and is now therefore a man? Or not say wife at all because it’s too “gendered” and offends non-binary people?

        Should we all pretend detransitioners don’t exist? Should we pretend women’s sports are starting to exclude women from winning championships? Should we pretend nailing a dead rat to a domestic violence center that doesn’t accept natal men is a appropriate response to “exclusion?” Should we as taxpayers pay for DD breast implants for natal male prisoners who have raped women? Should we say “chest feeding and front hole” to replace “breastfeeding and vagina?” Should we fund Planned Parenthood holding workshops so natal men can convince lesbians their “girldicks” are awesome and “push through” the “cotton ceiling.” Should we say pansexuality is the only “moral” sexuality?

        Should we cut off a 12 year old girls breasts? Should we have thousands and thousands of gay teens become neutered? Should we make our male toddlers wear special underpants that keep their genitals tucked? Or give 6 year old girls a rubber penis with balls so they can be “packing” at school? Should we be okay with drag queens being felt up and laid on by children in libraries? All this is happening and more and it’s not because trans people are pushing this stuff. Instead their extremist activists heading up organizations that “represent” them are and their conformity loving allies just go along because…empathy.

        Empathy doesn’t mean conforming and pretending. It also doesn’t mean I redefine myself (cis?) and my relationships so someone’s feelings don’t get hurt. Empathy in social justice today simply means “shut up and know your place so I can wax philosophical about all those poor victims who supposedly need me.” Now go read something about that.

  4. Jack wrote:

    Oh, sex, gender, whatever. I know that to trans individuals the distinctions are a matter of honor, identity and self-esteem, and as far as I’m concerned, if an XY individual has changed everything but her chromosomes and wants to be regarded as, treated as and referred to as a woman, I will accommodate her in the interests of comity, kindness, and the Golden Rule.

    If what you say is true about their ‘honor, identity and self-esteem’, it has to be stated that if to get such honor and self-esteem one has to force other people to lie about certain facts of reality and one bends to that — that is, if we agree that such ‘reality’ as I allude to is real when it is not — then one is a) allowing oneself to be controlled by a deluded person, and b) establishing within oneself a false-belief in order to accommodate a deranged and deluded person.

    If one bends to delusion out of wishing to honor comity [comity: a state or atmosphere of harmony or mutual civility and respect; concordance, concord, harmony] I question whether one is doing the best thing, and therefore the ethical thing, for the long run.

    I admit that one might strategically avoid confronting a lunatic or an hysteric because, as we know, they can and often do become dangerous and unpredictable, but this is exactly my argument against it: this is precisely what we often say we notice on the campuses: weak and fragile creatures who have been provided with a ‘safe-space’ for their distorted ideas. Think of that strange “Shrieking Girl” who became famous for screeching at her Yale professor. Note as well that when one Googles ‘shrieking girl’ there is another link that appears: the strange creature that let out a howl — Nooooooooooo! — when she realized that Trump was elected (the video became famous of course).

    By giving in to these people — by ‘accommodating’ them as the phrase goes — one is in fact doing them a terrible disservice. One also does the intellectual culture a disservice. And finally one also does oneself a disservice.

    Jeffrey Valentine wrote:

    “Gee, I don’t know. Either trans people are legitimately a different gender than they think, or they are suffering from a weird kind of delusion. If they are suffering from a delusion, we’re doing them a horrible disservice by not treating the underlying delusion, and allowing them to essentially carve up their bodies. It would be easy if there was a magic wand to change genders. But there isn’t. And won’t be for a long time. I’m not sure we should just throw away the possible delusion argument, especially if doing so actually hurting people.”

    And it is not just in this rather obvious area where we *accommodate* the deranged. Once one starts in one area those who are ‘accommodated’ grow stronger in their resolve to be ‘accepted’. When one gives into them in one area one must understand that this sets an example in many other areas. I should mention as well that if one chooses to do this it sets an example that one’s children (the children of our society’s) then imitate.

    valkygrrl wrote:

    It is unreasonable because you have chosen to retreat into a deliberately ignorant position and then pretend that you’re the aggrieved party. You could have read a book on the topic, or three. Done a quick google on history, found a FAQ or even spent five minutes of thought before pronouncing judgment in the form of a question.

    This is as close to *having an argument* as I have ever seen you come, valkygrrl. But it is terribly weak. At its core it is an emotional argument.

    You have no basis on which to define, soundly, what is reasonable or unreasonable, and you have no basis to define ignorance or ignorance’s opposite: knowledge. ‘Reading a book’ is absurd if it is a serious recommendation: books these days — in a highly distorted intellectual environment — cannot be trusted to any degree. One has to read books with critical protectiveness so as not to be tricked by sophistries. Sophistry is far more common.

    sophistry (ˈsɒfɪstrɪ)
    n, pl -ries
    1. (Philosophy)
    a. a method of argument that is seemingly plausible though actually invalid and misleading
    b. the art of using such arguments
    2. subtle but unsound or fallacious reasoning
    3. an instance of this; sophism

    When you say *book* you mean of course *sound argument* or *reasonable presentation*. We live in times that anyone can make the false seem true and the true appear false. And we live in times where a sound base for agreed-upon epistemology has become nearly impossible. We live in times where The Lie is far more common than The Truth (and we have a very hard time defining *truth* even — and especially! — to ourself).

    But what happens in such an environment, and in such an eventuality? What happens is demonstrated by what you do and what you resort to: an emotional argument. Mere ’emoted assertion’.

    I suggest that we can see here, in this instance, a larger diagram for what is going on in our culture today. Here we see a ‘microcosm’ that explains the ‘macrocosm’.

  5. My sympathies for Ms. Rowling are extremely limited. For one of the greatest fantasy writers in the world right now (I don’t say THE greatest because I think George R.R. Martin might have something to say about that) she has displayed some astonishingly small-minded, predictable, and mean-spirited tendencies. She has also shown a decided lack of sense when it comes to who to take on.

    Trolling Mike Pence changed nothing. Calling a follower who challenged her a pathetic virgin did no damage to that person. However, these actions revealed quite a bit about her. She is great at writing about teen wizards and bizarre creatures while dropping oh-so-solemn anvils that Racism Is Bad. However, outside her talent, she is no better, no wiser, no kinder, and no more mature than the scruffy “woke” Zer hurling insults on social media at anyone and everyone he disagrees with.

    The danger of running with the hard left is that if you dare take one step against their approved pattern, they will not hesitate to turn on her and eat you alive. In this case she dared to say that someone should not have been fired for taking a position that, whatever chemical and surgical alterations someone may have done, their chromosomes are still what they were at birth. The hard left doesn’t want to hear it, and, now that she said it, suddenly she and her whole body of work are evil, fit for nothing but contempt, hatred, and abuse. However, given her previous nasty, unkind, and immature behavior, I am not sorry to see her wind up on the receiving end of it. There is nothing bullies hate worse than their own tactics being used against them, and nothing the merciless fear more than being at the mercy of those as merciless as they are. She set herself up for this, now let her take the consequences.

    Obviously someone hasn’t been following the proverbial “bouncing ball.” Jack is no Trump defender. He spoke out against him when he was but one of several candidates. At one point he even said something to the effect that things might be better if the idiot who tried to assassinate him had been successful, just as this nation was better off when Huey Long was gunned down by a political enemy. For a time he also believed the better course was to vote for Hillary, before deciding, upon further reflection, he could not do so in good conscience. HOWEVER, all of that changed once Trump was elected and became the president. At that point he was the duly elected leader of this nation and, by virtue of that, he was entitled to a certain amount of deference, a certain amount of respect, and the support of the nation, because if he did badly, the nation did badly too. The Democratic Party, and the left generally, have given him none of that from the day after the 2016 election. That is neither fair, nor right, nor ethical. Jack knows it, most of us not blinded by Trump Derangement Syndrome know it, I know it, and you, Ms. Valky, are too smart not to know it, yet you use terms like “orange-colored Mussolini” which can only lead to the conclusion that you too, may have a tragic case of TDS.

    If you want baseball, there are plenty of other sites around, but I believe you were being tongue-in-cheek, so I won’t focus too much on that. If you want a performance by Jack, I would respectfully suggest you sign up for one of his seminars, which sometimes include performances. I know I want to go one of these days, but I just haven’t managed to pull it off schedule-wise. Book reviews are not a bad idea – “the ethical book of the month” would be a nice feature – however, if Jack wanted to do that, then he would do it. It sounds like he’s pretty busy, though, and may be grappling with some health issues, so maybe launching a new feature isn’t on his to-do list. More even moderating? As he’s pointed out, he is not anyone’s moderation monkey. A few people who have demanded action on this or that have found that out the hard way. The left-leaning might not get pounced on if they were more scholarly or policy-oriented and less “arrgh! Orange man BAD!” However, the quality of lefty posters here has, ah, declined over the last three years. As for the boon, I think you had best forget it. I of course can’t speak for Jack, but Chris had been walking on thin ice for a VERY long time. He was no scholar, and he was no policy expert. He was not even a decent guy who disagreed with those of us on the right. He was by nature rude, he talked at, not to others, and against a lot of who are older, more educated, or both, he was out of his depth, although he wouldn’t admit it. He also had the annoying and arrogant moral certitude that frequently goes with being a social justice warrior. I have a suspicion that Jack put up with his garbage for so long because sometimes he held up the left side of this forum all by himself. Finally he overreached by engaging in outright mockery of Jack, and Jack punished him. That was a year and a half ago. He’s been seen on other sites spouting off to the effect of how his time here was wasted, because, try as he might, he couldn’t make those of us who aren’t woke see the light.

    • I don’t feel bad for Ms. Rowling either, but egads, do I feel bad (and terrified) about the general lack of common sense/arguing skills/basic tenets of logic on Twitter in general. It’s terrifying. All Ms. Rowling is saying is that this individual should not have gotten fired-it doesn’t follow from that that Ms. Rowling is transphobic, bigoted, or anything else.

      I, frankly, avoid Twitter like the plague for that reason-usually only going to to it when Jack posts from it. And when I do go, I leave with a sick feeling of sadness, dread, and frustration.

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