Let’s Talk About The Censoring Of Blogs

Way back when I first started blogging, I belonged to a site called Newsvine. I wrote almost exclusively on religion back then, and they had moderators who would investigate reports of abuse.

Basically, you could say anything you wanted as long as you didn’t personally attack another user. If you used a personal attack and the moderator didn’t think it was too big a deal (you’re an asshole etc) the person’s comment would be taken down and the mod would leave a comment explaining it was removed, why it was removed and the ‘abuser’ would be given a warning not to do it again.

If the personal attack was repeated or was of a more serious nature (threats, very personal insults etc) then the comment would be deleted and the moderator would leave a comment explaining that the person had been banned for breaking the terms of use. Sometimes they would get banned for a week or a month, and sometimes they’d get a lifetime ban.

As an atheist blogger who enjoys lively debate, I was quite often the recipient of such ‘abuse’ and moderators would often ban or suspend people for personally attacking me or other readers.

Most of the time I didn’t care because the other person was behaving like a petulant child, but a few times I felt bad.

For example, there was one very religious person who called me the anti-Christ. He was banned for a month and I appealed to the moderators to lighten their suspension because I didn’t feel that warranted any sort of punitive action.

The suspension was upheld anyways.

Let’s take a quick Dexter break. The post will continue after this cute-as-hell picture.

I also belonged to an author’s forum and they had a similar sort of set up as far as posting. You weren’t allowed to personally attack people, but they had the added rule that you couldn’t swear or be overtly sexual in posts because minors sometimes joined the forum. There were special age restricted areas you could swear in etc. There was also an author section where people could post stories for critique, and you could swear or post sexual content there.

Anyhow, Newsvine changed their site setup and I found it too unruly a system to navigate so I moved to Blogger. I stayed there for quite some time, but decided to come to WordPress and I’m so glad I did.

During the Blogger/Wordpress era of my blogging adventure, I have maintained a free speech zone. I’m a big free speech advocate, but I do rely on people having good sense most of the time and acting like civilized human beings.

I don’t censor or alter comments. I also don’t delete any comments. I just let the conversation happen.

For the most part this has worked out wonderfully. The one thing that worries me is that people might not feel comfortable commenting on a post where someone is name-calling and acting like a whiny child. I’m also not a fan of people making fun of someone for a personal issue, such as a drinking problem in the past etc. I much prefer people stick to attacking the arguments someone makes, rather than the individual.

Like I said, people who comment here usually act like civilized human beings but there have been some exceptions. During those times, I wonder if NewsVine had it right all along.

Personally, I would never ban people because they disagree with me or others who may comment here. In fact, those are often the comments I most enjoy reading because they offer an alternative point of view.

I’m also uncomfortable banning or moderating comments where people personally attack others, including myself.

But enough about me. How do you run your blog? What are your thoughts and feelings on censoring blogs, banning people and/or rules of conduct and this post in general?

Thanks for reading!


What Is The Alt-Right?

Since the election, I’ve tried to find out what the Alt-Right is. It’s so frustrating because everyone seems to have a different definition. Some people say that it’s a movement of people from the Right who are outside of the mainstream. Others that it’s a white supremacist movement, and others that they’re pranksters who just enjoy making memes and trolling the Left.

I did run across two videos that seem to do a good job of trying to explain what the Alt-Right is and how it became a movement.

The first of the videos (follow the link if you want to watch it) says that the Alt-Right has four tiers. Those Tiers run from Western Nationalism to an outright White Supremacist movement.

It’s an interesting video so I hope you’ll watch it.

The second video talked about Milo and Steve Bannon as well as how the Alt-Right formed and became an influential political factor. I found this video very interesting as well.

In that video, the creator claims that Milo and Bannon aren’t part of the Alt-Right but that they’ve tried to shape the movement into something they can use. He thinks that effort is doomed to failure, because at its core, the Alt-Right is deeply racist.

He also believes that the extreme Left acts as a mirror and the two groups amplify each other, and that while the extreme Left uses words such as ‘racist’, ‘misogynist’ and ‘Islamophobic’ to silence dissent, the Alt-Right uses the word ‘degenerate’ to do the same thing.

Anyhow, I hope you’ll give the video a watch and let me know what you think. What is the Alt-Right? How did they become a political force? Do you think they’re a real phenomenon or a conspiracy theory made up by the paranoid media and its pundits?


Answering Share Your World Questions

It’s time for this week’s Share My World.

The first question this week is:

Do you prefer eating foods with nuts or no nuts?  

Without nuts. I love nuts but I prefer just eating nuts whole, rather than having them in things. The one exception is Pecan Pie. So good!

If someone made a movie of your life would it be a drama, a comedy, a romantic-comedy, action film, or science fiction?

Probably a little of everything, except science fiction. I’ve never flown a rocket ship or found myself in an alternate dimension…yet.

 Who talks real sense to you?

I think Sam Harris talks a lot of sense, and even the things he says I don’t agree with, I usually find interesting.

Dave Rubin talks a lot of sense.

I guess it depends on the circumstances or topic. People are incapable of talking sense 100% of the time.

Do you have a favorite board game?

Risk by far! I love that game. I also like Chess.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

To be honest, I wasn’t all that thankful last week. At least, not in something spectacularly different than every other week.

This week I’m looking forward to seeing a Christmas Festival with a client.

Justin Trudeau Praises Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro has died. He ruled Cuba with an iron fist, and was responsible for untold suffering. He treated the LGBT community abhorrently:

Perez’s unsparing view of the Cuban Revolution was earned through his two years of toil at one of the misnamed “Military Units to Aid Production” during the 1960s. Gay men were sent to these facilities for conversion, for punishment, and as a kind of deterrence. After doing his time at what amounted to forced labor, Perez was rewarded by having his identification card “branded” with his incarceration and thereby shut out of education and employment.

Other stories from the early days of the revolution were equally harrowing, some even worse. One unidentified trans woman explains that she wears sunglasses because of an incident long ago. She then removes the glasses to show an eye bleached by acid that was thrown in her face.

He used firing squads, kept the Cuban people in poverty, and created a repressive system that punished anyone who dared to dissent.

On his passing my Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, had this to say:

“It is with deep sorrow that I learned today of the death of Cuba’s longest serving President.

“Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century. A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation.

“While a controversial figure, both Mr. Castro’s supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for “el Comandante”.

“I know my father was very proud to call him a friend and I had the opportunity to meet Fidel when my father passed away. It was also a real honour to meet his three sons and his brother President Raúl Castro during my recent visit to Cuba.

“On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and many, many supporters of Mr. Castro. We join the people of Cuba today in mourning the loss of this remarkable leader.”

Apparently, Justin speaks fluent lying-ass-kiss-ese.

Castro was a human monster who had no regard for human rights. He abused his own people, took their wealth and lived like a king while they starved. Castro stood against everything a Western Liberal democracy stands for.

Of course, this is from the man who openly calls himself a feminist, but has no problem giving a speech praising a gender segregated mosque.

To hear a form of truth, we have to turn to a man who seems barely able to string a sentence together without repeating his words over and over like a mantra.

Yes, President-Elect Trump, who said this:

“Today, the world marks the passing of a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades,” an official Trump statement said. “Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights.”

In this instance he is absolutely right. Castro was a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people. While Trump has said some unimaginably stupid things during the election, on this topic he’s right.

How bad has our system become when we have to rely on Trump to do what our supposedly Liberal leaders refuse to do?


Another Example Of Stupid PC Outrage

Here’s another example of stupid PC outrage. I think the host of this show is spot on with his criticism, and at the end he says if this keeps up, you can look forward to eight long years of Trump.

I have to agree, and I could find stories like this every day. The Left is just becoming moronic with it’s faux outrage and PC nonsense. It reminds me of when the Religious Right used to act outraged because Christmas was supposedly under attack or something else equally stupid.

This bull is the new religious right.

Re: What a Privilege

I was reading a post earlier titled What a Privilege. It’s very well-written and I encourage you to check out the blog. He tends to write about interesting topics, and in this particular post he’s talking about the election.

So let’s jump into it.

The first part I disagreed with was this:

As an older white male PoC are justifiably giving me side-eye. I’m trying to appear as disconcerted and troubled as possible (which has been easy to do, because I am), stalling for time to find a few t-shirts emblazoned with something that makes crystal clear that I didn’t support any of this.

This paragraph just drips with white guilt. There’s just so much wrong with this sentiment.

  1. Why is it justifiable to give you side looks because you have white skin?
  2. Why are you trying to look disconcerted? You sound like your life is in danger or something. Take a deep breath. You live in a democracy and even if you did vote for Trump, that doesn’t give people the right to judge you based on your skin color.
  3. Why do you need T-shirts? Such virtue signalling is embarrassing.

Just as an aside, what the hell does ‘Person of Color’ mean?

Such a crap term. I’m ‘white’ so does that make me a person of no color? I’m not actually white. I’m more a brownish pink so I definitely have color. It’s just a term meant to proliferate this crazy ass identity politics that seems so prevalent now. One more way to put people into a box based on skin color.

In the meantime, I’m stuck playing the suddenly popular game “Which of You Crackers Voted for Trump?”

That’s some racist shit. Could you imagine if you changed the word ‘cracker’ in that sentence to a different derogatory term?

Lots of different people voted for Trump. I would hazard a guess that the far majority of people who did vote for Trump, didn’t do so based on the color of their skin. If this ‘game’ you speak of is so popular, maybe try telling the people playing it to stop, because it’s racist as hell.

Nowadays with Facebook, it’s easy to find the proud deplorables amongst family and acquaintances. In the olden days, Know-Nothings would sneak around in the shadows but now they proudly display their ignorance to everyone.

So if a family member you previously respected voted for Trump, you just throw them into a deplorable box? You don’t even ask them why or try to understand their reasoning?

Wow. That’s harsh.

He then goes on to blame White Evangelical voters for Trumps win:

Easily held in thrall by the single issue of abortion allows the expedited, short-circuited, easy-thinking these voters prefer. The issue easily fits into their narratives, allowing the dramatic staged event of decent folks with “values” versus unfeeling, atheistic baby killers.

Come on! Everyone knows babies taste delicious.

Seriously though, you’re going to make me stick up for evangelicals here. Damn it!

Not all evangelicals are single issue voters. Sure, I think Trump’s views on abortion helped him win that voting demographic, but I don’t think that was the only issue. In fact, Trump divided evangelical groups, especially after his video tapes were released:

Trump’s candidacy led to divisions within different evangelical camps. Liberty University Jerry Falwell Jr.’s endorsement of Trump caused division on his own campus. A prominent evangelical theologian Wayne Grudem endorsed Trump, pulled back his endorsement after the video tapes came out, then re-endorsed him.

There was certainly talk going on within those camps, and abortion wasn’t the only topic. Trump wasn’t an easy pill to swallow, but Hillary was viewed as such a bad candidate (and the Democratic party should have known that and almost certainly did before nominating her) that many felt forced to vote for Trump. If the Dem’s had put a viable candidate up there, they almost certainly would have convinced moderate right-leaning evangelicals to vote for them, because they were deeply divided on voting for Trump to begin with.

I debated people who claimed in all seriousness that Hillary Clinton was possessed by a demon. Where do you go from there?

I would suggest atheism. Just sayin’.

These political Christians that are clearly commanded not to hate and slander then lustily spent the past 2 years trashing the Clintons (again), using everything from juvenile ad hominem insults to outright fabrications.

Well, I don’t think it unusual for religious folk to be hypocritical. The bible says all sorts of things that Christians don’t normally do. I mean, Jesus made it quite clear that being rich was not the way to get into heaven and he commanded people to give their wealth away.

Don’t see many Christians doing that, although there are a few who do. Hell, have a look at most large churches. They scream wealth.

They eagerly hopped into the same nasty basket as the KKK, internet trolls, selfish “libertarians”, misanthropic atheists, and outright anarchists, all with a with prideful irreverence for our highest office.

Just because you vote the same way as a racist piece of garbage, doesn’t mean you hold their values. You likely voted for different reasons. Each of you sees the world through different eyes. What’s important to one person might not be as important to another. Some people are more informed than others etc.

People need to stop trying to put others into neatly tied boxes. We are all individuals. We are not prepackaged identity cults.

These hollow, politicized, husks of Christians likely won’t know shame no matter the outcome of this presidency they labored to bring to power. They will start by praying for Trump to have wisdom and end by praying for forgiveness. And they will justify any outcome, good or bad, as being part of the divine plan, for a God whose teachings they so readily sold for thirty pieces of worthless silver and restitution can never be made.

You might very well be right. I’m not big into prayer, since I think it’s basically a waste of time.

However, the Right is rising all over the West. Trump is just one sign of this so we better start paying attention. There are reasons for this and you can’t just stick the blame onto the lapels of white people or white evangelicals. The rise of the Right is even happening in countries that aren’t all that religious.

If I had to guess, two major motivators to this rise in the Right is people’s dissatisfaction over immigration policies. People are prevented from discussing it by charges of racism if you dare to speak your mind.

The other side to that coin is people are tired of PC culture and the identity politics that come with it. They’re also tired of establishment politics. They want change and Trump was that change.

It’s shitty it had to go down that way, but the faster we start talking to one another instead of trying to shame the other side into silence, the more likely the chances we can stem the tide of the authoritarian Right that is poised to sweep across the West.