Discrimination is EVERYWHERE

Holy smokes, that sounds a title a third wave feminist would come up with. Trigger warning, what you are about to read is very likely to make you mad. I am going to propose some rather controversial ideas. Though I often say that the best things to read are the things that make you angry. Because the time at which you are forced to evaluate your feelings the most are when you’ve been angered by something you’ve seen or heard. For example, you may be mad at… say… Donald Trump for suggesting that we should have a temporary ban on refugees from the Middle East entering our country. Why does that make you mad? Because you believe it’s destructive to our foreign relations and you feel that poor foreign relations is a bad thing. Perhaps you believe that it’s the same as scratching a rash, by not allowing these refugees into our country they are driven to ISIS to become terrorists and the next time they’ll attempt to enter our country it’ll be as an oppressing ISIS terrorist instead of an oppressed Middle Eastern refugee. In essence, you believe that it is more dangerous to the United States to ban these refugees from entering the country than it is to let them in and risk the off-chance that a terrorist gets in. No matter what you believe, your anger at the suggest forced you think about why you disagree and why you believe that the suggestion is a poor one.

Let’s begin with the definition of discrimination. Is Dictionary.com good enough for you?

Discrimination:

noun

1. an act or instance of discriminating, or of making a distinction.
2. treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit: racial and religious intolerance and discrimination.
3. the power of making fine distinctions; discriminating judgment: She chose the colors with great discrimination.
4. Archaic. something that serves to differentiate.
 Let’s focus on the definition we care about for the topic of this discussion, the social discrimination:
treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit

Let’s begin with an example that we are all familiar with: racism. In the United States there was a time in which racism was far more ubiquitous than it is today (though if you ask certain democrats they’ll tell you the basis for Trump’s support is racists which easily looks like one-sixth of the country!). There would be water fountains designated for blacks. There would be restrooms designated for blacks. There would be areas just designated for blacks. This discrimination notably went one way in some cases. That is, white individuals could access black facilities but black individuals could not access white facilities. This eventually went out of style as time progressed and today in the United States we don’t have that type of discrimination anymore… or do we.

An example I often like to bring in terms of racial discrimination is that of available scholarships. The Sons of Italy award scholarships to those of Italian descent. Awarding scholarships is great! Higher education is super expensive and one less penny you have to take a loan out is one hundred less dollars you have to pay back when everything is done and taken care of. But note how you must have Italian descent to be eligible for such a scholarship. There are plenty of people of Italian descent (like myself) that would like financial assistance to pay for higher education. There are also plenty of people that are not of Italian descent that could also feasibly want this financial assistance. So is this discrimination? I’ve already given you the answer at the beginning of this paragraph – yes, it is. Why? Because it’s making a distinction (people of Italian descent) in favor of (eligibility for a scholarship) based on a category to which that person belongs to rather than individual merit. Now the question I ask you is: is this a bad thing? If this makes you angry, I ask you, why? The Sons of Italy are a private organization. They should be free to spend their money however they like, no? Are you entitled to apply for their money, is this one of your rights as a United States citizen?

Let’s move on the sexual discrimination. There is an often quoted 20 cent wage gap (which, by the way, is COMPLETELY FICTIONAL). But if it were to exist, that would definitely be discrimination. Either men are being paid more because they are men, or women are being paid less because they are women. Neither of these criterion concern themselves with merit, so it has to be discrimination. But let’s step aside from this for a moment. Now I’m an asexual robot so I have no idea what it’s like to be attracted to another individual. The only dating I do is carbon dating, and I still mess those up all the time. But perhaps some of you are familiar with the idea of the date. Perhaps some of you have even gone on dates. Maybe you’re married, or about to be. What was your first date like? (For the purpose of this example, I will use a heterosexual couple). Did the man show up with flowers? Did the two of you go out to dinner or a movie? When the woman was about to enter a vehicle, did the man open the door for her and close it when the woman was securely inside? Did the man pay for the date? If the man did all of these things, it’s not unreasonable to believe that they are sexist. WOAH, SLOW DOWN THERE PARTNER. THE MAN LITERALLY DID NOTHING BUT NICE THINGS FOR THE WOMAN. Well, ignoring the obvious response of the man taking away all of the woman’s power by doing all of these things for her, let’s focus on the discrimination. So the man did all these things which we’ll assume the woman rather liked. Free of financial obligation, didn’t need to drive, didn’t even have to open the door to the vehicle. Why is this sexism? Remember what sexism is. Sexism is gender discrimination. The question that you have to ask yourself to not call him sexist is this: “Would the man have done this for another man?” It’s that simple. Actually, it would be more proper to ask yourself this: “Why did the man do this”. That’s the general question. And if the answer doesn’t boil down to ‘because the woman is a woman’ then the man is in the clear. Good to go. He’s not a sexist. But even if he is a sexist, is that so bad? Is being sexist a problem here?

And this is the problem people have when they call people racist or sexist or anything-ist. They use racist and sexist as weapons to invalidate the individual committing the offense acts. And they might be right. Is it fair to call Donald Trump a racist for calling for a ban on refugees from the Middle East? Well, ask yourself the question. ‘Is Donald Trump calling for this ban on this specific group of people because they’re from the Middle East and Trump simply doesn’t want people from the Middle East in the United States?’ If you can honestly answer that question yes, then go ahead. Call Trump racist. You’ve justified it. But if you can think of other reasons, then I would say no, don’t call Trump a racist. Why jump to the conclusion of bigotry when other reasonable answers exist?

Let’s move on to other various forms of discrimination. This is where I expect things to get a little uncomfortable. Discrimination of the elderly. I ride the bus to University in the morning. The normal fare is three dollars a ride. The elderly need only pay one dollar? Something like that. My question to the bus company is then, “Why do the elderly have a reduced fare?” If I am to say that this is not discrimination I have to ask myself if I believe that the reason that the elderly get such a reduced fare is because they’ve managed to hit a few birthdays (my guess is yes). You may want to ask me if I get a reduced fare because I’m a student. The answer is yes, I get to ride for free. But again, I have to pay the school, and the school probably has to pay the bus company for this favor. Do the elderly have the same argument? I would guess no. You could argue that they paid taxes over many years which is used to run the public transportation, but the only requirement is that the individual be old. They could be on vacation (Alaska does get a lot of tourists here for the Northern Lights). They could be paying taxes for a completely different bus company. If the elderly were required to have an Alaska license or something then I’d be a little more willing to give this bus company credit against being discriminatory, but since they don’t, I say they discriminate. And remember, I began this little portion with a guess. I don’t know for sure.

Actually let’s stay on that bus for a little bit. Suppose the bus is getting full and you’re sitting in the front of the bus. An elderly individual comes on. Do you give up your seat for this individual? Many people would answer ‘yes’ to that question. Why? Discrimination! Giving up your seat because someone is elderly and may be more needy than you to sit down is discrimination. You discriminated based on either age or disability. Is this a bad thing? That’s for you to decide. You aren’t required to give up your seat, but you would likely make other bus riders think poorly of you for your insistence to remain seated despite recognizing that someone else probably needs to be seated more.

See, the reason I bring this up is because there are many people that will proudly say that they support equality. They say everyone should be treated equally. I agree. We should treat people based on the merits of the actions, not based on arbitrary characteristics to which they had no control over. But discrimination defies this concept of equality. Discrimination is the exact opposite of regarding people by their merits. This is why I don’t support senior specials. I don’t support Black History Month. I don’t support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I don’t support these things because I interpret them as discrimination. To me they’re a type of ‘soft discrimination’ (Depending on how you interpret them, they could be insults). A discrimination used to apologize for discrimination. If you support these ideas, you are supporting discrimination. If you support discrimination, you cannot fully support equality. You must take a side, red pill or blue pill, black or white, zero or one.

I began this blog post with why I believe you being angry for reading this post is a good thing. Now let me tell you why I want you angry for this post. The entire post, as you can see, has been an evaluation of discrimination in our society. The question I want you to ask yourself is – do you agree with it. Are you content to live with this discrimination. I do not mean to suggest that discrimination is a bad thing if you got that feeling from this post. It’s not necessarily bad. But like all things, if you do accept discrimination, you must accept the bad things with the good things. So, again, I’ll ask you: do you agree with our society having so many layers of discrimination? If not, how many layers of discrimination would you change? What is the foundation for your beliefs?

Artemis Hunt

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Discrimination is EVERYWHERE

Tolerating Trump’s Treatment

Ah, yes, nothing like a good old alliterative title. Buckle up kids, this one is a long one. Let’s talk democracy.

What is democracy? Democracy is often translated as “Rule by the People”. The concept alone could even be called noble. Who is your ruler? You are your ruler. Who rules you? Everyone rules you. Who do you rule? You rule everyone. The reason it could be called noble is with a basis like this, it lends itself very neatly to the idea of a collective good. You want the best for you and everyone else wants the best for them so you meet in the middle and get the best for most. There’s nothing wrong with this. Especially when you consider perfect to be the enemy of the good. The more time you diddle away on trying to make things perfect, the longer people suffer from the problem you are trying to fix. So the best way to fix the problem is to quickly get a fair compromise and fix the problem. It does have one major drawback – it can be slow. This is where autocratic systems take an advantage. A monarch, a dictator, these people can enact changes quickly. The problem then becomes, they can enact changes quickly, (possibly) without thinking of the consequences too clearly. So which is better? Neither is directly better than the other, they each have their own drawbacks. I suppose if I had to pick one to live under, I would choose democracy. Democracy is harder to effectively topple. With a monarch or a dictator, you kill one person you start a war or you create a power vacuum. With democracy, people can be replaced and it’s harder to convince a lot of people to go to war for killing someone than it is to convince next in line, vice chief or whatever to go to war for killing the monarch or the dictator or whatever. Stability is strength, but I am a Taurus so I’m biased there. But that is the justification for my choice. Democracy in the United States? Sucks but it is what it is. The United States has some 300 million citizens. If you waited for 300 million votes on every piece of legislature to come through, you’d be waiting lifetimes and how many people do you think would treat it as the Terms and Conditions of literally any game or website they sign up for? This is dangerous business. So we elect representatives which then vote on the policies (hopefully after researching them) which should represent the will of the people that they were elected by. Good? Good.

Now let’s talk about what you probably came here to see: Donald Trump. Personally, I feel that Donald Trump has been treated rather unfairly. Most recently when he was asked to disavow the support of a KKK member. What? Why? My guess, is because the KKK are notorious white supremacists and that’s not what we want in the Oval Office. But that’s… that’s not what’s going into the Oval Office. Is Donald Trump a white supremacist? Not based on anything that I’ve seen. On top of that, the KKK is ALL AMERICAN. Literally, they were founded in the United States. They were active in the United States. They have been part of our nation since their inception. They are part of the electorate, why should they not get a say in the policy? Note in the above description of democracy, it doesn’t matter who you are or what you believe, you still get to have a say. So I think Trump has done the KKK, the United States, and democracy a disservice in the way he apologized for having KKK support. And there’s my problem. You shouldn’t have to apologize for votes that you have earned just because the people that gave them to you hold unpopular opinions. Especially when it’s clear that they’re not giving Trump major donations, it’s not like they’ll influence Trump’s decisions. And that’s why I view this denouncement as a major weakness in Trump’s campaign. I don’t know if a campaign manager had them say it or if Trump decided to say it to get away from this topic which would have dogged him until November but I believe that it was a mistake.

I also have a problem with it in concept. I assume that the KKK have voted in past elections. Probably on the conservative side. Why aren’t we checking to make sure all candidates are free of KKK support? No seriously, what is this. I recognize that candidates should have some judgement based on those that they represent but the president of United States would represent the United States. Are there bigots in the United States? Loads. But we still agree that Obama is an okay guy. We don’t believe Obama to be racist (or at least I don’t) so why are we not equating Obama to any racists that may have supported him? And I suspect that there is reason to suspect a racist vote was involved in 2008. Obama got 95% of the black vote! Would Obama have won if not for the Black vote? Maybe. But if the numbers switched a little bit, that could have easily been a McCain presidency in 2008. If you vote for someone because they are black, it is just as racist as voting against someone because they are black.

I don’t believe that the media has been very fair in representing Trump. And isn’t that the point of the media? To inspect fairly and inform? Has our media turned into an editorial machine? That’s what blogs are for (especially this blog). I don’t believe that my liberal friends on Facebook have been fair in representing Trump. People are quick to cry racist. They’re quick to cry sexist. They’re quick to cry xenophobe. They’re quick to quote those Hitler speech segments which when attributed to Trump people would support. But they all miss the mark so much that it’s insane.

Let’s first address the Hitler thing. Recognize that Hitler inherited a weakened Germany that was still paying off their WWI dues. On top of that, Hitler largely got power in Germany quite fairly. The people wanted Hitler, especially the working class. Nazi is, after all, short for the National Socialist Party. The people were upset about their economy. So Hitler’s speeches (and I love this because in that video, with few exceptions, they targeted the points which show discontent about the economy) were and possibly are applicable to the United States today. Shift some dialogue around, I don’t imagine it would be difficult to make up to date Hitler speeches that could easily be attributed to not only Trump but Sanders. But without reading Lenin’s speeches, I suspect that Lenin would be a better historic individual to compare to Sanders. Perhaps I’ll get on that when I get some real free time between school, Game of Thrones (I’m reading them) and JRPGs.

Now let’s talk racist. That seems rather odd. Alright, so let’s put this into perspective. Remember how our democracy works in the United States. We elect representatives which… well… represent us and our desires and our needs. Let’s also make the (reasonable) assumption that all voters are looking out for themselves the most. If Trump’s policies are racist, would that not mean that his support among minorities would be very low? Then why is Trump raking in 40% black vote and 45% hispanic vote? Can someone tell me that? Because I can only think of 2 solutions. Either Trump isn’t racist, and his policies do benefit minorities, or minority voters are too dumb to vote for their self-interest. I’m inclined to believe the first, but you can take your pick.

Let’s talk xenophobe. Most of the criticism seems to stem from two source. The first is this wall that Trump wants to build (and have Mexico pay for it!). This also seems to be the focus of racist calls? But I don’t see the problem with a wall. What’s the problem with a wall to keep out illegal immigrants? Why even have passports if you don’t care who walks across your borders? Do you leave your house unlocked because you don’t care who enters your house when you’re asleep? The second is the criticism on Muslim migrants entering the country. Let me pose it to you like this then. Falling back to that house example, let’s suppose your house once got robbed, and you know it was done by a particular gang, let’s say the “Bear Brothers”. Now you find that the Bear Brother gang is undergoing some turmoil and one or two members wants to live with you. Knowing the history of where they come from, and what they have done, is it really that unreasonable to ask for a bit of a pause to make sure that if any were to enter your home that they would not harm your family? Is it too much to ask for that little bit of peace of mind? I don’t believe so. Especially when you consider the migrant crisis that has plagued Europe for months. Paris attacks, Cologne attacks, Swedish rape epidemic, perhaps migrants aren’t the root cause of these, but you can’t deny the increase in severity and the timing of these attacks. (I also note that my liberal friends and the media haven’t really brought them up too much now that the dust has settled. Perhaps they looked across the pond and saw what could have been us?)

And I’m not saying that I’m a Trump supporter. I’m still weighing my options. But I wanted to address these criticisms as being unfair or unsubstantiated. Are there problems with Trump? Certainly. Will these problems ever get aired out fully? I’m not sure. The liberal media and the liberal masses are so quick to resort to name calling (Make Donald Drumpf again? Really?) and these are the messages that stick that it’s hard to get some actual policy criticism discussed. And I’m worried Because I feel like a Sanders nomination is the only way we’ll get that on the grand stage of presidential debates. If Clinton were to get the nomination, I believe that we would only get mudslinging on both sides and the electorate would decide the president based on who has the worst smelling dirty laundry.

Let’s wrap this up by bringing it back to democracy. If people want to vote for their candidate based on policy, skin colour, hair colour, dirty laundry, accent, anything really, I don’t mind. It’s your vote, and you’re free to spend it however you like. And I believe that part of respecting your vote is respecting how others spend their votes. And if we go back to that assumption that everyone votes out of self-interest, if Trump were to win the presidency, I believe it would be the will of the United States citizens. As such, we should respect a Trump presidency. And this is kind of why I am worried. There a lot of infighting on the democratic side between Sanders and Clinton. With the Sanders supports most notably being… ehhh… mental gymnists. And I’m legitimately concerned as to how Sanders supporters will react if Clinton were to get the nomination (despite Sanders, bless his heart, openly saying that he would not run third party because of the spoiler effect, to help get progressive policies in through Clinton) that the Sanders supporter would riot in the streets. They’re already crying foul democracy in the primaries (and I will admit, that Clinton ralley right outside the voting centre was rather sketchy) I can only imagine what they would cry if Sanders were to get beaten by Trump (which I find likely). What I want these people to realize is that this is democracy. This is how it works. You did not have a majority. That does not mean that you have no say in how the country is run, nor does it mean that your vote did not matter. It just means that you were beaten. It means that more people disagreed with you than agreed with you. And if it’s the job of our representatives to please the greatest number of people, can we truly blame them for supporting those that disagree with you? So I’ll leave you with a quote, by me this time (whether or not others have said it I do not know).

“The only danger in Trump getting elected is democracy working as intended.” – Artemis Hunt

Artemis Hunt

Tolerating Trump’s Treatment

Broken Dreams

Steam: Broken Dreams

What a waste of a perfectly good hour of my life. The End.

… Okay not really, but what is this. This isn’t the first game of its kind to come out where you control shadow yous to solve puzzles. It’s not the first game of its kind to come out where you meet up with the female. And even if it were, none of the puzzles were exceptionally difficult. Which makes me believe it meant to lead on story. Unfortunately, the story was lacking also. By the end of it, you felt like your character deserved everything they got. They were straight up depressing, pathetic. Is this what love does to people? I wouldn’t know, I don’t even think this is love.

Okay so why is the story so bad? It’s a sequence of puzzles where you (Jack) meet up with Michelle. You do so at benches. You work together for a bit which I suppose is to signify you being together at one point? But apparently one day you go sit at a yellow bench to leave Michelle behind. And then you spend 20 or so levels killing yourself and you find Michelle again. Then she says “If you can do anything for me, can you live without me?” Now props to Michelle for not telling Jack to kill themselves. I’m still trying to figure out what the deal with the yellow bench is all about though. It has to be significant and it can’t be cheating on Michelle with another because you probably would’ve seen the other woman OR you would not have used Michelle to cheat on Michelle. I dunno. The voice acting is horrible. Holy smokes Batman. The music isn’t horrible but there’s just the one track. I think there is maybe one or two good background images to set the scene but that’s not enough to save the game. No character, no story, passable music, no puzzles, if I were to assign numbers to games, this one would get a low number. And of course, no recommendation.

Let me emphasize how bad this game was. It costs 99 cents. If I had worked the hour that I played this game instead of playing it, I would have about five dollars after taxes. I wish I had worked the hour I had played the game instead of playing it. The opportunity cost is too damn high. Not worth playing.

Artemis Hunt

Broken Dreams

A Wolf in Autumn

Steam: A Wolf in Autumn

I get most of my games on Steam via bundles and specials, so pardon me if I’m a little late to this party.

So anyone that knows me knows that I love wolves. To me, wolves embody the wilderness. They embody what man left behind as we created civilization. They embody what we left behind when we became farmers instead of hunter-gatherers. They embody that which is always present. The wolf is my spirit animal. No matter how far I go, no matter how much I change, no matter who I meet, I will always have the wild within. The wolf is me. So when I saw a game titled ‘A Wolf in Autumn’ I had to get it. And it was on sale so… I snatched it up. Bonus points for being an environment game instead of… literally anything else. It’s a game you experience, which is why I’ll try to be as spoiler free as possible? Anyway on to the game.

So the game was made in Unity and it looks what would probably be a person’s first game. And it’s only through that kind of lens can I possibly justify a game like this. It’s a fair game, and it focuses on the story of a mother and her daughter. You presumably play as the daughter. The mother communicates with you through… walkie-talkies? I have no idea. Anyway you start the game in a shed. You break out (it’s stupidly easy to break out which breaks the immersion a bit) and your mom calls on the walkie-talkie to say get back in the friggin shed. But bonus points for her telling you “it’s for your own good”. Come on, that is like the cheesiest line ever. After we discover that our name is Autumn I realize that the title ‘A Wolf in Autumn’ is highly appropriate. See Mother Dearest thinks that she can control Autumn. She thinks she can cage her, keep her from exploring. But you can’t tame the wild. The wild is uncontrollable. It roars and demands to stretch its paws. So you play the game old adventure game style. There’s a lock under the guise of puzzles. There’s a key under the guise of solving those puzzles. Find the thing that fits the lock. Easy peasy.

It is at this point that I will tell you how I write these blog posts. What I do is I find a topic I want to cover and I write my thoughts down as notes for a while. When I think I’ve done enough to make a blog post, I commit this to writing. I press the publish button and BAM. Blog post on the interwebz. But then I read the blog post and ninja edit a couple things. Maybe I’ve left a few thoughts out, maybe I’ve got a typo, maybe I just need to reword something to make it more clear to the reader. In any case, the blog post that sticks is usually the blog post that is up about 15 minutes after I first publish. So why am I telling you all of this? Well to be frank this paragraph comes straight from my notes which I had to write because I was starting to get scared by all of the noises in the game. Every time I complete a puzzle I hear a damn buzzer which startles me every time. I scare easy ='(

Later we discover that Autumn has only one arm which makes some of the mechanics make a little more sense to me. So here’s my suspicion before I even finish the game. Autumn is a literal wolf. What we interpret as her hand picking things up and using them is really her picking things up with her mouth. I’m writing this prediction down before I finish the game.

Not too much later I get scared witless and soon finish the game (takes like 20-30 minutes). And it is now that I am left with a rather sombre expression because of the experience that I’ve had. It’s not a bad one and I’m still left with questions about the story, or about the point of it all. I still think that my wolf analogy from before is appropriate but I’m not sure that’s what the author had intended. I’m not sure if there are multiple endings but the author didn’t create a game I would really replay. To me, this game is a pause and think button. But it’s not done well enough to want to pause again and think again. That’s not to say that the experience wasn’t worth it. So here are my final thoughts:

I recommend this game but don’t go out of your way to buy it. I think it’s $2.00 on Steam? Wait for it to go on sale. I wouldn’t say that it’s worth the $2.00. Too short and I personally don’t feel that the game has enough focus on the story that it wants to tell. Of course anyone out there is welcome to prove me wrong and tell me their interpretation of the story, but if you decide to comment your interpretation and your post includes spoilers, please mind your manners and place a spoiler alert at the top of your post. I’ve purposely tried to keep this post spoiler free and since it’s such a short game you can see how much fluff this post has compared to the game itself. That said, if you’re really looking for an experience like this but with much better focus, story, characters, music, everything really, then I shall highly recommend To the Moon.

Artemis Hunt

A Wolf in Autumn

Are Guns REALLY a Question of Safety?

I have a lot of liberal friends on Facebook. This is probably expected because I am a millenial and it seems my age group is liberal. It may even be getting increasingly so, considering all of the higher education events going on around the nation. And one common issue that seems to be used as a weapon among liberals is the issue of gun ownership. But as I sit here procrastinating my statistical mechanics midterm, I wonder, what is the REAL issue we’re talking about here? Because I don’t suspect that it’s gun ownership.

I’ll start with an anecdote. My friend recently purchased a firearm. They described the process as follows (paraphrased and shortened):

  1. Enter the gun shop
  2. Pick a gun
  3. Fill out 15 minutes of paperwork
  4. Background check that takes less than an hour
  5. Gun – get

I personally view handguns as a tool and since this tool has a great deal of potential to be used to harm society, I believe that maybe it should be a little more difficult to obtain guns. I do not believe you should be able to walk home with a gun the same day you go to buy it. The most important of reasons being ‘when do you decide to buy a gun’? I would guess that most people just buy a gun because they want one. Whether it’s for recreation or protection, that’s fine. But I also recognize that there are other reasons one might buy a gun. Maybe your spouse just died and you say you need it for ‘protection’ but really you need it to kill yourself. Maybe you’ve been bullied at school for a while and whatever just happened today is the straw that broke the camel’s back. Maybe there’s a guy with only a month’s rent left to their name and no job nor hope in sight. They plan to use the gun to rob stores. Obviously these people won’t tell the salesman that, but they exist. There are a lot of people out there that need help more than they need guns, and giving them a little time, maybe requiring the pass of a mental health doctor over a few weeks might prevent guns from getting into the hands of people that wish themselves or others harm.

But the weird part is as far as gun ownership goes, those that are polled agree on several points. Regardless of whether or not those polled are republican, democrat, or independent, they all seem to generally agree on where the issues are. So my question is why are guns being used as a partisan issue? Well, here’s my suspicion. The democrats have taken on a lot of special interests as time goes on. And they do this because it’s easier to gather votes and control the government if you tell more are more people that you’re looking out for their interests. But also because of another thing and I think this is the most important reason for them crying foul of guns.

The easiest way to gather support is to play the victim.

Humans like to claim that they are right. They like to justify their actions not only with logic but with morality. In the Western World, a key component of being moral is helping others, true to our Christian beginnings (let’s just forget that the United States was founded on secularist ideology and focus on the people in the country). We should help our neighbor, feed the homeless, and all of that other charitable stuff. When you take on special interests, you are virtue signaling. You are telling the people that what you do is right because you are helping those that need it. People should follow you because they too will be able to help people and they can feel good about themselves because they would believe themselves to be helping others and then enhance the virtue signal effect.

I don’t mean to use virtue signaling as an implication that these people do things without believing in them, rather in reference to the propaganda of it. I have no doubt in my mind that many people engage in charities like Habitat for Humanity without believing that what they are doing is right. But there is an element of using charity as a weapon to garner support.

Now let’s get to how this applies to playing the victim. I am going to propose a scenario for you and we’ll see how it goes. You hear a boy and a girl yelling. This is normal, right? Boys and girls fight all the time. But then you hear the girl start crying. You go outside and look at the two. What is your first guess as to what happened? My guess is that your guess is that the argument got heated, and the boy hit her and then she started crying because she was in pain. Was I right? This interpretation is an example of how society views men as the aggressor. As such, your first response is probably to protect the girl or defend her. Let’s change it a bit. This time you go outside and the girl notices you and quickly says (before the boy can even open his mouth) ‘he hit me’. Now what is your reaction?

The most reasonable reaction is to ask if this is true. And then if it is true, to ask why. Maybe this is just my own upbringing coming in, but I can’t help but feel as though most people wouldn’t even bother to hear the boy’s side of the story. They would rush to the aid of the female without wanting to hear the whole story, or even check if this story is true. In fact we do see that this is not just my upbringing coming in when it comes to the modern view on rape in society. We see this because it happens in the media. People were so quick to rush to the aid of the ‘victim’ that they never bothered to check the facts. Even after the story was proven to be fabrication, ‘lo and behold’ the Twitter Brigade was quick to defend the alleged victim. Especially on the topic of sexual actions, women get the highest preferential treatment in the land. Domestic abuse shelters overwhelmingly favor women. Custody courts overwhelmingly favor women. CRIMINAL COURTS OVERWHELMINGLY FAVOR WOMEN. And this is a strategy women have been employing since they were young since they know that they can get away with it. It’s how the feminist agenda has been getting pushed despite touting falsehoods like ‘Women get paid 77 cents on the dollar for the same work as a man’ and ‘One in five women in college get raped’. When they play the victim they encourage people to support them.

Okay, let’s bring this round circle, how does ANY of this connect to guns? Some liberals are quick to point to gun violence as a reason for them to be removed from society. In reality, I believe that the argument is one cored in safety but the cause is misunderstood. If safety is the true concern, why don’t we install breathalyzers in every car to prevent people from drunk driving? Hell, why are we even letting people drive? We should just have self driving cars (can’t wait for this actually). Of the deaths in the country I believe lung cancer is one of it not the leading cause death. Why aren’t we banning smoking? I’ll tell you why – it’s not a question of safety. At the end of the day, the question of guns isn’t one of safety, but rather one of how many privileges we can take away without the people complaining. We already have Yale trying to sign away our first amendment (which I would argue is the most important amendment) in the name of protecting feelings. Our country has a long way to grow and if you start taking away these privileges in the name of safety, then you hamper the growth of the nation. Your rights are rights for a reason. So I’ll leave you with a quote from one of the founding fathers of the United States.

“Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.” – Benjamin Franklin

Artemis Hunt

Are Guns REALLY a Question of Safety?

Sanders Supporters should be in the Olympics

Okay, I should be about done with Sanders posts for a while after this one (hopefully). But Sanders supporters are totally Olympic material. Seriously, they are so amazing at mental gymnastics. So I got into a debate regarding this image this morning on Facebook. Doesn’t look that bad for the Berners, right? Well, it shouldn’t… because of how the information is represented. But something felt suspicious to me, so I did some math. The math shows that Clinton has 40% more delegates than Sanders. Now at the time of writing there are about 25 states left for the democratic primaries, so it’s not impossible to catch up for Sanders. But let’s not be unrealistic, how about we look at it in another way? Let’s compare this to something we are all familiar with – perhaps school? Suppose that you and a friend are competing for the best GPA in the class. About half the term is over and you have an average of 70% over all your assignments. Your friend? They have a 100% on every assignment. This is the battle Sanders now faces. Again, that’s not to say they can’t do it. Perhaps all of Clinton’s easy assignments have been done and now they have to struggle for every point while Sanders gets the easy road. Who knows? Only the voters, I suppose.

To be honest, that’s not really my problem with the image. I mean, it’s one of my problems with the image, but my problem with the image is in how intentionally misleading it is. I wondered where the source was so I went to my first source for delegate counts – Politico.com. And sure enough, when you go to the delegate counter you see that “Available Delegates: 2308” right there on the cover. There’s one big, big, problem with that. Some might even say it’s a YUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE problem. See, the Politico delegate counter INCLUDES superdelegates. And normally I wouldn’t have a problem with that. But if you look at the delegate counters for Clinton and Sanders, you’ll notice that the totals marked COMPLETELY DISREGARD superdelegates. Which puts me in an uncomfortable position. Why are the superdelegates counted for the available delegates but not for Sanders or Clinton? My suspicion is that the author supports Sanders and wants to intentionally misrepresent the race to make it look like Sanders still has a fighting chance. Okay, okay, maybe I’m being a little unfair. There are only about 200 remaining superdelegates, but it really bothers me when information is manipulated to make it seem like it’s something else. So to ease my conscience (about the graph at least) here’s the correct graph. Untitled 1_html_m4ffd0ea6

But wait, there’s more! I personally feel like it’s a bit easier to get a concept of the scale if it’s a pie graph. Why the hell the author used a bar chart is beyond me but here you go.

Untitled 2_html_3c29b9bb

As you can see, there’s a little over 50% of the delegates remaining up for grabs (not immediately apparent from the bar graph). It also gives you a bit better idea of how the delegates are allocated right now with about 30% going to Clinton and about 20% going to Sanders. Which is why I often agree that the race isn’t over for Sanders; but it’s only getting worse. Sanders has to win states by some impressive margins if he wants to win this race. Especially big states. To date they have lost the big states by wide margins and won small states by big margins. This is not feasible when you do the delegate math.

No, seriously, what is this shit. I get that it’s The Onion and it’s supposed to be satirical but damned if it doesn’t cut it close to reality in this case. It seems with every loss the Sanders supporters come up with more excuses and suggest that Sanders was inevitably going to lose these states. WHICH IS ITS OWN PROBLEM. This also brings me to my last point for this blog post:

They seem so insistent that Sanders is inevitable and would rather blame the media instead of own up to the fact that Sanders is losing and losing bad. First, I’d like to say that I don’t believe that either Cruz or Sanders should drop out yet. But let me quickly address the problems with the image alone: it’s comparing apples to oranges. Most of the democratic primaries are proportional delegate allocation. That means if the state has 10 delegates and you get 60% of the vote, you get 6 of the 10 delegates. So even if you lose 5 of these states 60/40, you’re only trailing by 10 delegates (a whole state’s worth). Which for this example, isn’t that bad because you can make that up in 3 landslide victories no big deal. Let’s contrast this to the republican primaries, in which most of the states are winner take all. This means if you win by one vote, you get all 10 delegates. So while Cruz is behind, every state he wins, no matter how close the vote, will give them a spurt of delegates while denying their opponents delegates. Kasich is pretty much down to a brokered convention hopeful and probably should drop out. Sorry Kasich. So it doesn’t matter if Sanders wins a state because most of their wins are either close or in small states. So to sum up the difference – A Cruz win, no matter how small, propels Cruz forward while setting his opponents behind. A Sanders win, if small, does effectively nothing. Sanders HAS TO WIN BY WIDE MARGINS TO HAVE A SHOT AT THE NOMINATION.

Returning to the point regarding media, this seems to have been their argument from the very beginning. That ‘once the message got out there’ people would flock to Sanders because they hold the best interests of the people at heart. Whether or not Sanders has the best interests of the people at heart is a debate I’m not willing to engage in. But we’re halfway into the primary race. If Sanders hasn’t gotten his message out by now, they’re a failure as a politician. I get it, politics is slow. But if elected you’ll have four years to do what you need to do Sanders. It has been 6 months and you’re trailing Clinton by 300 delegates. This is almost four times the record. Pick up the pace or get left in the dust. Another way Sanders supporters blame the media is in them giving Sanders little coverage. One example was last Tuesday(?) Maybe it was Saturday. I can’t remember. (I’m on Spring Break so all of my days kind of blur together. I’m going to have to actually start my midterm before Sunday though…) Five states voted, Sanders won one… barely. And the Berners were so upset because the media didn’t cover it enough? They said Sanders made history and they did. Sanders made history – by proving a poll to be inaccurate. Polls can be wrong, they’re just tools to make predictions. Clinton on the other hand won four states. 80% of the states up for grabs, Clinton won. Yet the Berners are upset that the media won’t proportionately cover the candidate that they support? Get out of here.

So what’s the take-away from all this? Why did you read the ramblings of this particular individual? I suppose I was just ranting. My problem is I don’t need fancy mathematics or excuses to tell me how a candidate is doing well. I don’t need to do the doublethink to justify a candidate’s chances. And quite frankly, I believe that at the very least, a loud portion of Sanders supporters are executing just that. They require the use of doublethink which to people like me just looks… desperate. Look, I’m not anti-Sanders. I’m not anti-anyone really. I disagree with Sanders on several points. I disagree with Clinton on several points. I disagree with Trump and Cruz on several points. Since we’re in a two party system, when I vote I have to vote for whom I disagree with least instead of whom I agree with most. Which is unfortunate, but it’s just a consequence of our system. Anyway, that’s all from me.

Artemis Hunt

Sanders Supporters should be in the Olympics

Make Sanders President

I am sure that many of my readers regularly use social media sites. (How else did you find this blog?) And I strongly suspect based on the tags I used and the title that many of my readers are somewhat up to date on the current primary process. With these two combined, I now present to you the title: Make Sanders President.

Maybe it’s because I went to a liberal arts college that I wound up with several friends that would likely call themselves liberal or progressive. With the attitude of ‘loud’ individuals on the progressive left giving the progressive left the nickname ‘the regressive left’, I hesitate to identify as progressive though as a libertarian I do share their ideals somewhat. Senator Sanders however, seems to have roped these guys in hook, line, and sinker. And that’s not a bad thing! It’s perfectly acceptable for you to support a candidate for whatever reason you like. Even if it’s not one most people agree with. If you support Clinton because you want to help put the first woman in the White House, that’s perfectly valid. I don’t agree with the rationale, but it’s your choice. If you want to support Trump because you support the building of a wall (a beautiful wall, and Mexico will pay for it!) then that’s valid too. You could support Cruz because you did a ritual sacrifice when you were four years old (or witnessed one) and Cruz resonates with you because of it somehow and that too, would be perfectly valid. Whether or not someone agrees with your reasons for supporting a candidate does not make your reasons any less valid. It is the burden of the candidates to convince you to make them your vote. Votes must be earned. The fact that the criterion to get the vote of a particular individual vary wildly and some might be easier to reach than others does not make their vote any less important… (unless you happen to look at the way the United States presidential voting system REALLY works and then you realize that some votes actually do matter more. But that’s a rant for another day).

So why am I going through all this? What’s the point of this preamble? Well if you’ve got a Facebook feed that’s anything like mine, you’ve probably got a bunch of meme images of either Trump or Sanders. I’d like to focus on Sanders because of the mentality that seems to be prevalent within the Sanders supporters. The core idea seems to be some sort of rage against the machine or something. Granted, Sanders is calling for a ‘political revolution’, and those that support him would probably support this political revolution. But it seems a bit crazy with how far these individuals will go to defend Sanders’s victory, or rather, they seem to be convinced that Sanders is the inevitable winner. So my title comes from my sarcastic remark:

Why don’t we just make Sanders President already?

Because it really seems like according to these supporters that it’s inevitable, we’re just wasting our time with the primaries. They’re so quick to whine about ‘superdelegates’ and how they promote a false image of the race. The argument is there for that, I can understand why they would believe that superdelegate counts are misrepresentative and they can change their votes at any time. So I agree that they shouldn’t really have much weight placed on them. But when you look at pledged delegates, you can’t deny the numbers. Clinton has 766 pledged delegates. Sanders has 551 pledged delegates. Let’s do some math here, and Clinton has 40% more delegates than Sanders. The largest comeback in history was from about 80 pledged delegates. A Sanders upset would literally triple that. I’m not saying that it can’t happen, I’m say it’s unlikely.

Another thing these Sanders supporters seem to forget, along with common sense, is how delegates are won. With proportional delegate awarding, Clinton can literally tie Sanders in every state remaining and win. In fact, she could LOSE every remaining state and still win the nomination because of proportional delegate awarding. To reiterate the core point here, you win DELEGATES, not STATES. So what if Sanders beats Clinton by a hair in Michigan? He got stomped in Mississippi and gets a net loss of about 20 delegates from that exchange. I am not neglecting the… impact of Sanders winning Michigan. He was expected to lose. He didn’t. But if you want to make that the ‘rallying cry’ then I’ll remind you that by the same logic, Clinton supporters could ‘beat the prediction’ on the states that Sanders is expected to win. If you want to follow predictions and use them as tools, that’s fine. That’s what predictions are for. However, do not try to use predictions as justification for your cause. At the end of the day, they’re speculation and all that matters are the results.

I get that people support Sanders, that’s fine. What’s NOT fine is ignoring reality and thinking if ‘we all believe hard enough in the heart of the cards’ that Sanders will pull an upset. And I’m tired of having this argument. Yes, your candidate won this state, I’m happy for you. But it’s not enough. He may have won your heart, but he’s nowhere near winning his race. What you need to do if you want Sanders to win is to reach out to those that aren’t already on Sanders side. You need the votes. Faith won’t do it all for you. And the worst part is, even if Sanders somehow goes all the way, do you honestly expect his revolution to happen? He’s going to get blocked every step of the way, potentially worse than Obama was. This is why Sanders is calling for a revolution. Because he can’t do it all by himself. Because he needs the votes in congress to help him. But I don’t suspect that the young voters supporting Sanders who really want to help him out in that way are going to vote for these other candidates that would help Sanders. I suspect that they don’t even know who they are!

So that was just my rant. This one is just a sarcastic response to the blindness of Sanders supporters. But you are my friends, and I still love you and that you can be so passionate about something. I just wish that I didn’t get into so many arguments with you that boil down to me stating facts and numbers and you stating hopes and dreams. You can pray for success all you want, real success is achieved by those who listen to truth and use reason.

Artemis Hunt

Make Sanders President