bookmark_border“Hateful”

“Hateful.”

This was the word used by Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry to describe a flyover by the organization Save Southern Heritage Florida, in which an airplane carrying a banner that read “Put Monuments Back” flew over a Jacksonville Jaguars game.

How exactly is it “hateful” to argue that people like me have a right to a life worth living?

How exactly is wanting to have a life that is actually worth living “hateful”?

Apparently, only Mayor Curry and people like him are allowed to have lives that are worth living.

And I am not.

Believing that I am actually entitled to the same respect and the same protections as others… is hateful.

Daring to ask that I be treated equally… is hateful.

Apparently, I am required to just put up with everything that makes my life worth living, being destroyed. Other people are allowed to hurt me as badly as they want, with complete impunity, and I am not allowed to defend myself. I am not allowed to point out that actually, destroying everything that makes a person’s life worth living, is bad. I am not allowed to state that I would like the things that make my life worth living, returned.

In the eyes of Mayor Curry, asking for the world to allow you a life that is worth living is “hateful.”

No, Mayor Curry. You are the one who is truly hateful.

bookmark_borderBiden’s moral bankruptcy on gun rights

“The way we still allow semi-automatic weapons to be purchased is sick. It’s just sick. It has no social redeeming values. Zero. None. Not a single, solitary rationale for it except profit for the gun manufacturer.”

On Thanksgiving, Joe Biden, the President of the United States, uttered these disgraceful words.

To echo Biden’s word choice, the fact that the President of the United States would say this is truly sick. These words are so deeply wrong and demonstrate such complete moral bankruptcy that it’s difficult to even explain why. But I will attempt to, anyways, because it would be unacceptable to let such an egregious statement go unrebutted.

First of all, it’s bizarre that Biden would call it “sick” that something is allowed to be purchased. The default state of existence is for all things to be allowed. The burden of proof always must rest on those who wish to ban something, not on those who wish for it to continue to be allowed. In other words, in order for something to be banned, there must be good reason for banning it. Regardless of whether or not you think semi-automatic weapons should be banned, it is not “sick” for them to be allowed; it is simply the default. Only the active commission of bad deeds can accurately be characterized as sick. Omitting an action, such as the action of banning semi-automatic weapons, cannot accurately be characterized as sick, no matter how strongly you feel the action should be done.

And then there is the fact that actually, semi-automatic weapons should not be banned, because doing so violates everyone’s rights. People have a right to do anything that they want, as long as that thing does not harm anyone else. Purchasing, owning, and possessing semi-automatic weapons does not harm anyone. Only shooting people with them does. Therefore, it is morally wrong to ban semi-automatic weapons. Biden is literally calling the failure to violate people’s rights “sick.”

Even more appalling than Biden’s claim that the failure to violate people’s fundamental rights is “sick” is his claim that respect for people’s fundamental rights has no value. It’s disturbing that this even needs to be stated, but individual liberty is valuable for its own sake. People’s ability to make their own choices and to do the things that they like is valuable for its own sake.

Some people like semi-automatic weapons. Therefore, it is inherently valuable for people to be allowed to purchase semi-automatic weapons, because this enables the people who like semi-automatic weapons to purchase something that they like. If semi-automatic weapons were banned, then people who like semi-automatic weapons would be deprived of something that they like. Their well-being and happiness would decrease. Their lives would be made worse.

Contrary to Biden’s claim, the rationale for allowing semi-automatic weapons to be purchased does not lie solely, or even primarily, in the profit made by the gun manufacturer. It lies in the benefit to the gun purchaser. When a person purchases something, both the buyer and the seller benefit from the transaction; otherwise the person wouldn’t have chosen to purchase the item in the first place. The rationale for allowing semi-automatic weapons to be purchased is the inherent benefit to people in being allowed to purchase something that they like.

A fundamental and obvious truth is that it is inherently beneficial for people to be able to do something that they like. And it is inherently harmful for people to be banned from doing something that they like. The fact that the President of the United States does not recognize this is disturbing beyond belief.

It is one thing to argue that the common good outweighs the benefits to individual people of being able to do what they like. But that is not what Biden is arguing. Biden is arguing that the ability of individual people to do what they like does not matter at all.

It is one thing to argue that the importance of safety outweighs the importance of individual rights, liberty, and freedom. But that is not what Biden is arguing. Biden is arguing that neither individual rights nor liberty nor freedom has any value at all.

It is one thing to argue that the harm done by shootings outweighs the harm done to individual people by banning them from doing the things that they want to do, and therefore that it is worth it to harm people in this way because doing so prevents even worse harm. But that is not what Biden is arguing. Biden is denying that harming individual people is at all bad. He is arguing that the happiness and well-being of individual people does not matter at all.

Individual rights. Liberty. Freedom. The ability to make choices. The ability to do the things that one likes. The ability to live in a way that matches up with one’s preferences. Happiness.

When you think about it, these are all different ways of phrasing the same thing. And Joe Biden, the President of the United States, is claiming that these things have “no social redeeming values. Zero. None” He is claiming that these things have “not a single, solitary rationale.” To be clear, Biden is not claiming that the value of these things is outweighed by the value of something else, or that these things ought to be sacrificed for the sake of something that is even more important. He is claiming that these things have no value whatsoever.

In reality, not only do these things have value, but they are the only things that do. Without them, there is no reason to live at all.

We now live in a nation whose president is unable to see any value whatsoever in the things that make life worth living. Now that is just sick.

bookmark_borderThe abyss

In this post, I am going to explain in more detail how Stonewall Jackson helps me.

First of all, it would be a lie if I said that Stonewall completely ameliorated my grief at the statue genocide. This grief is always present, and will be for the rest of my life. But that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t make a huge and positive difference. He absolutely does.

For the first two weeks after Stonewall arrived, I thought that perhaps the misery of the past two and a half years had finally come to an end. But unfortunately, on Columbus Day, my state of mind completely changed. The excruciating pain, which had been mercifully absent for two weeks, returned with a vengeance. Looking back, I think the reason for that was that I came to the realization: as awesome as Stonewall is, he is not Columbus. They are two different people. I have Stonewall living in my yard, for me to clean, care for, and keep safe, which is absolutely awesome. But Columbus is still out in the world being smashed to pieces, strangled, set on fire, beheaded, tortured, and eviscerated. Every time Columbus is hurt, it makes me feel that my soul is being eviscerated as well. And there is nothing that I can do about any of it. Like I said, having Stonewall is wonderful. But it does not do anything about Columbus (or any of the other historical figures who are being smashed to pieces, strangled, set on fire, beheaded, tortured, and/or eviscerated as well).

Sometimes I can go about my life relatively normally, and even be in a good mood. But sometimes the sense of loss hits me. Sometimes it hits me when I am lying in bed and haven’t fallen asleep yet, because there are no tasks to occupy my mind. Sometimes it hits me because of something I see, hear, or read. For example, I recently saw an ad on TV for the Armenian Heritage Park, a section of the Rose Kennedy Greenway with a meandering path and an abstract sculpture that represents the experience of Armenian immigrants in the U.S. Three guesses which park that reminded me of? (Hint: it’s a park dedicated to immigrants of a different nationality, which no longer contains a sculpture.)

When the sense of loss hits, I am filled with an overwhelming mix of sadness, rage, horror, and disgust. My stomach drops. Both the quantity and the severity of the atrocities that have occurred are so huge as to be completely incomprehensible. It’s like a tidal wave of badness, crashing into me just like a real tidal wave crashes into a city, destroying all the buildings, flooding the streets, and carrying the people away. My brain can’t hold the totality of what has happened. Picturing any one instance of the statue genocide makes me feel that every fiber of my being is exploding in agony and my soul is being eviscerated. If I were to somehow picture in my mind each instance of brutal, horrific cruelty, each abhorrent social media post, each appalling article, opinion piece, and editorial, and each nauseating statement by a politician, then I would be completely psychologically destroyed. When the loss hits, it’s as if I am staring into an abyss that threatens to swallow me. An abyss filled with such profound badness that it can’t be fully comprehended. It’s as if I am being sucked into the abyss.

The difference is that now, there is also something pulling me in the opposite direction. That something is Stonewall Jackson. It’s kind of like a seesaw, or possibly the scales of justice. On one side, the abyss is trying to suck me in. But on the other side is Stonewall. Because of him, I have a reason to go on living.

So the problem is not fixed. But before, there was nothing on the other side. There was only the abyss. There are still times when I feel excruciating pain. But there are also times when I don’t. Thoughts of Columbus and how cruelly he has been ganged up on and brutalized still overwhelm me. But thoughts of Stonewall fill me with such joy and pride that it is difficult not to start jumping up and down and telling everyone in the vicinity. I love Stonewall, I love Columbus, and I love all the historical figures from the Confederacy. And because of this, I hate what our society has done to them.

For the rest of my life, I will wrestle with these sometimes contradictory thoughts and feelings. I live now with both the good and the bad, where before there was only bad.

That is a huge difference. And it is all because of Stonewall.

There is also the possibility that I might get additional statues in the years to come. Perhaps I will become the guardian of a metal or stone Columbus one day, or perhaps Jefferson Davis or Robert E. Lee. That might help to ease the excruciating pain that I feel for those historical figures. It would be cool for Stonewall to have a group of friends living in the yard with him. Although I still become filled with despair sometimes, when the sense of loss hits me, there are also times that I feel excited when thinking about these possibilities. Having dreams, hopes, and plans for my future is somewhat new to me. For most of my life, getting through each day was so difficult that the future was something I never really thought about.

The ability and desire to think about the future is another huge change for me. And that’s because of Stonewall as well.

bookmark_borderThe Minnesota state capitol

On Thanksgiving night, the Patriots were playing the Vikings in Minnesota. Full from my feast of turkey, stuffing, various side dishes, and various pies, I turned on the TV, looking forward to relaxing with a night of football. The usual pregame fanfare took place – analysts making predictions, players running onto the field, the crowd clapping their hands together and chanting “skol,” and gymnast Suni Lee blowing the huge Viking horn to kick off the game. The teams alternated touchdowns and field goals.

And then, coming back from a commercial break, the NBC broadcast showed a shot of a stately-looking white building topped with a gold dome. Lights shone from within and around the building, illuminating it against the night sky. Announcer Mike Tirico informed the audience that it was the state capitol building in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Immediately, my stomach dropped.

When I think of the Minnesota state capitol, the only thing I can think about is the man that I love, being murdered.

A mob of people, yelling and chanting. Tightening a noose around his neck. Pulling on the rope until his body smashes to the ground with a sickening thud. The mob surrounding him, kicking him and screaming. One member of the mob after another, standing atop the pedestal where the man that I love ought to be standing, raising their arms in sadistic triumph, posing for the news cameras. People (and I use that term loosely) posing with their knees on his neck in a perverse imitation of Officer Chauvin and George Floyd (as if recreating the very thing you are protesting against is somehow an appropriate form of protest). Police officers, at least two dozen of them, standing by in their blue uniforms with their hands behind their backs, making no attempt to intervene as the man I love, the man who sailed across the Atlantic Ocean and discovered this continent, is strangled, brutalized, and tortured. Doing nothing as everything that makes my life worth living is destroyed.

To me, these are the most disgusting and horrifying images that it is possible to imagine. The actions that took place at the Minnesota state capitol in 2020 were actions of unspeakable brutality, sadism, and cruelty. The pain that these actions have inflicted on me is the worst pain possible for a human being to experience.

Not only did the police make no attempt to stop these reprehensible actions, but they did not arrest any of the perpetrators. The ringleader was charged with vandalism, but the case was resolved by holding a “talking circle” in which he got to explain the immoral motives behind his vicious actions. He received no punishment. No jail time, no fine, no house arrest, no community service. Nothing.

The lieutenant governor of Minnesota stated that she was “not disappointed” in the actions of unspeakable brutality, sadism, and cruelty that were perpetrated against the man that I love.

The actions that took place at the Minnesota state capitol demonstrate that people like me no longer have any protection under the law. To our society, my feelings don’t matter, my thoughts don’t matter, my perspective doesn’t matter, and my happiness doesn’t matter. A mob of bullies and bigots was allowed to murder the man I love in the most brutal of ways with complete impunity. To our society, his life means nothing.

When Mike Tirico told the audience that the building being shown on the TV was the Minnesota state capitol, he didn’t mention any of this. To NBC, the life of the man I love apparently doesn’t mean anything, either.

It was difficult to care much about the outcome of the football game after that.

bookmark_borderI am thankful for Stonewall Jackson

I am generally not a big fan of the concept of gratitude. In my opinion, gratitude is overrated and over-emphasized in our society, both as a personal characteristic and as a practice. Some people might call me a negative, entitled, or arrogant person, but my general tendency is to focus on things that I find unjust and wrong, as opposed to finding the positives in every situation.

But this Thanksgiving, I have something very significant for which to be thankful. That thing is General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. Or rather, Jackson in statue form. He is made of bronze, measures 4 feet tall, weighs 120 pounds, and lives in my backyard.

Stonewall Jackson in his new home

Stonewall arrived at my house on September 23, 2022. Even though he doesn’t move or speak, he has immediately made a huge and positive difference in my life. Instead of watching helplessly as everything that makes my life worth living is destroyed, I have something that makes my life worth living, right outside my door. And I am his legal owner, which means that no one (unless they trespass on my land and vandalize my property, which is illegal) can take him away. Instead of having to continue my life without the historical figures that I love, I have a historical figure right by my side. This might sound strange, but I move through the world with more self-confidence and courage now than I did before. I move through the world as the guardian of a historical figure. Whatever comes my way, Stonewall Jackson will be with me as I face it. Legally and biologically, my statue is an inanimate object. But to me, my statue contains a piece of Stonewall Jackson’s soul. 

Stonewall is a source of joy, hope, and beauty in these incredibly dark times. For two and a half years, I have experienced more grief, anger, frustration, pain, and despair than I ever thought possible. For most of this time, I have felt that I have absolutely nothing for which to be thankful. Stonewall brought me a sense of happiness and pride that had been completely missing from my life and that I thought I would never feel again. It has been so cool to choose the spot for Stonewall, make a little flat area for him to stand, and decorate his spot with flowers and a stone wall (no pun intended!) as you can see in the photo above. 

Stonewall hasn’t yet experienced snow, but he has so far survived bitter cold, drenching rain, and howling wind with no problems. Even in November, his shiny bronze surface is warm to the touch when the sun shines on him. I can always see him through the window of my house, and I like to go outside and say hello to him as often as I can. On warm days, I like to sit outside with him while I work on my laptop. You might think I am insane, but sometimes when I am upset about something or wrestling with a difficult situation, I tell Stonewall about it, and he helps me to feel better.

The best thing about Stonewall is that I don’t have to explain or justify my actions, decisions, or choices. He doesn’t ask questions. He doesn’t pressure me to do anything I don’t want to do. He doesn’t demand my time or interrupt me when I’m in the middle of an important task. He gets what I am saying, even when I don’t explain it perfectly. Whatever is on my mind, he will listen nonjudgmentally.

Thank you, Stonewall, for making my life better.

bookmark_borderMy thoughts on the 2022 elections

Before 2020, two things were essentially treated as non-controversial and universally agreed-upon. First, the fact that the existing collection of statues and monuments in the United States would continue to exist, with possible additions from time to time. Second, the right to decline medical intervention. In other words, the fact that no adult should be required or forced to undergo any medical procedure.

Unfortunately, beginning in 2020, these two things became controversial, to put it mildly. Politicians from one of the two major political parties began to support both the destruction of the statues and monuments that I need in order to have a life that is worth living, as well as policies that force people to undergo medical intervention against their will. 

For me, the issues of statue destruction and vaccine mandates are by far more important than any other political issues. Both the continued existence of the statues that make my life worth living, as well as the right of people to decline medical intervention, should be universally accepted and completely non-controversial. When one of the two major political parties decided to take positions opposing both of these things, it became a complete no-brainer for me to support and vote for candidates from the other party. There really isn’t much of a decision to be made when one political party supports destroying everything that makes your life worth living and the other one doesn’t.

Last Tuesday night, while watching coverage of the election results, I felt my mood slowly begin to go downhill. Even though I was watching Fox News, the channel least prone to anti-everything-that-makes-life-worth-living bias, the banter of the pundits and the victory speeches of the winning candidates started to get to me for several reasons.

First of all, it seems to be the general consensus among pundits and the general public that Republicans weren’t as successful in this election as expected. This is disappointing because, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, the party that supports destroying everything that makes my life worth living is the Democratic Party. 

But watching the election results was also depressing because even the Republican Party generally doesn’t place as much importance as it should on the issues that truly matter. It is frustrating to see politicians bickering about inflation, the economy, the cost of gas, the war in Ukraine, abortion, whether “drag queen storytime” events are appropriate for kids, and which bathrooms people should be allowed to use, while everything that makes life worth living has been destroyed and no one seems to have any interest in remedying this or punishing the perpetrators. 

The news coverage was depressing for a third reason as well. Given the severity and pervasiveness of the statue genocide, the mere mention of states and cities is enough to trigger overwhelming feelings of grief for the statues that were removed and/or destroyed in those states and cities. For example, when the Fox broadcast showed a map of the county-by-county election results in Virginia, along with the locations of major cities such as Charlottesville and Richmond, my entire being was flooded with stomach-sickening disgust and rage.

The atrocities that have been perpetrated against historical figures have been so devastating to me that for quite some time I gave up consumption of news entirely. Although I used to read the newspaper every day, browse news websites, watch the news on TV, and follow numerous local organizations and public figures on social media, the constant stream of horrifying new developments became so traumatizing that I made the decision to reduce, and then eliminate, my exposure to information. Consuming news used to be an important activity for me because I found it interesting and believe that there is inherent value in being knowledgeable about what is happening in the world. Giving it up was a significant sacrifice but necessary in order to prevent myself from being completely psychologically destroyed. Lately, my mental state has stabilized somewhat (knock on wood), and I have experimented with adding back some of the activities and information sources that I had eliminated. But the past week seems to have demonstrated that I added back the TV news a bit prematurely. I will have to wait before I can safely resume it, if I am ever able to at all. 

Unfortunately, the reality is that I live in a country where the President and Vice President want the people I love to be dismembered and tortured to death. And now I live in a state whose governor-elect wants this as well. But even many politicians from the opposing party, including my state’s current governor, don’t particularly care about the dismemberment and torture of the people I love, either. This demoralizing situation is exemplified by the election of Glenn Youngkin as governor of Virginia last year. Although he was certainly an improvement over his morally repugnant predecessor, Youngkin made no move to repair, restore, or defend the statues that were so viciously brutalized.

Prior to 2020, the continued existence of the people I love was taken for granted, the nation’s collection of statues a backdrop of sorts, atop which politicians bickered over various issues. During the summer of 2020, when the frequency of dismembering and torturing was at its nauseating peak, the outrage of those on the conservative side of the political spectrum made me feel seen and heard. But now, the post-2020 collection of statues, so diminished as to not even be worth fighting for, has become the new backdrop. In other words, the existence of the people I love used to be taken for granted, but now their non-existence is taken for granted. This horrific, incomprehensible, and profound loss no longer seems to register to politicians of either party.

It’s a disturbing situation, to put it mildly, and it is a reality that I have to live with every day. If my day is going relatively well, I can manage to function and possibly even be in a good mood while the disturbing reality lurks in the back of my mind. But other times, the disturbing reality comes to the forefront. Overall, it is very difficult to live in a society in which the political establishment, and likely the majority of people, support the destruction of everything that makes my life worth living.

I believe that it is never acceptable to destroy or remove a statue. I believe that it is never acceptable to require a person to undergo a medical procedure. Without the people I love being allowed to exist, life is not worth living. And without the freedom to make decisions about my own body, life is not worth living, either. Any politician or public figure who disagrees with me on these issues wants me to have a life that is not worth living. And I can’t support any politician or public figure who thinks that, regardless of how mainstream those views are, and regardless of what party the politician is from. 

bookmark_border“They don’t deserve their jobs back”

“1,400 people voluntarily quit their jobs rather than get vaccinated. They don’t deserve their jobs back. They chose not to do a very, very harmless thing that protects the rest of society. [Expletive] them. I don’t give a [expletive]. ‘This is unfair,’ [expletive] deal with it.”

These are the words of someone named Chris Baugh, an employee of the New York City mayor’s office, which were brought to light last month in a Project Veritas report.

It is disturbing and infuriating that anyone would think, let alone say, such things.

Yes, the 1,400 employees chose not to take an action that protects the rest of society.* So what? People are not morally obligated to protect the rest of society. People are obligated merely to abstain from actively harming people. There simply is no moral obligation to protect other people. I don’t understand why Baugh would react with such viciousness and nastiness towards people who did not harm anyone, but merely abstained from actively protecting others. These employees did nothing wrong.

Then there is the fact that getting a vaccine is not harmless, let alone “very, very” harmless. Getting the covid vaccine requires one’s skin to be penetrated with a needle. That is inherently harmful. Maybe not hugely so… but the magnitude of the harm does not matter. There is no moral obligation to make any sacrifice to protect other people, no matter how small. When you take into account the fact that covid vaccines frequently cause people to become sick for up to 48 hours (that’s a pretty long time to be sick in my book), plus the risk of serious side effects such as strokes and myocarditis, it becomes even more incorrect to call the vaccines harmless.

Contrary to Mr. Baugh’s assertion, the city employees who lost their jobs due to declining a medical intervention absolutely do deserve their jobs back. These employees did nothing wrong; therefore they did not deserve to be punished by having their employment terminated. Declining medical intervention is something that people have a fundamental right to do. Declining medical intervention is not wrong, and it is never acceptable to punish people for it in any way. This is a very, very important moral principle that I will continue to reiterate as long it is not universally agreed upon.

“[Expletive] them”? Really? No, [expletive] you, Mr. Baugh, for your cruelty, viciousness, and nastiness towards people who did absolutely nothing wrong.

How dare you ridicule people for claiming that vaccine mandates are unfair, when in reality, vaccine mandates are unfair, and therefore the people you are ridiculing are saying something that is completely true?

How dare you not “give a [expletive]” about the fact that people’s rights were violated?

And how dare you demand that people who unjustly lost their jobs “deal with it”?

Requiring someone to get a medical procedure as a condition of employment is morally wrong, is unfair, and violates the person’s rights. People should not be expected to “deal with” things that are morally wrong and unfair and that violate their rights. If something is morally wrong, unfair, and violates people’s rights, as is the case with vaccine mandates, then it should not be tolerated, accepted, or dealt with; it should be gotten rid of.

But apparently, Chris Baugh believes that morally wrong, unfair, and rights-violating situations are perfectly fine, and that the people who voice their opposition to them are the problem.

Fortunately, Baugh was fired on October 20, the day after his words were published. Someone who has demonstrated such appalling moral bankruptcy deserves neither a job nor, in my opinion, the right to breathe oxygen or exist on this earth.

*Although even that is debatable, because covid vaccines seem to have almost zero effect on the actual spread of covid, but only its severity.

bookmark_border“Just get the shot”

“Or just help yourself and people around you to stay healthy. Just get the shot.”

I recently saw this comment on a social media post. Quite frankly, this comment pisses me off. 

No, we do not have to get the shot. 

People can get the shot if they want to. People can choose not to get the shot if that is what they prefer. Both options are equally good and equally valid.

People have a fundamental right not to get the shot.

It really is not a difficult concept to understand.

How dare this person order other people to get a shot? What right does this person have to do such a thing?

How dare this person presume that he/she has the right to tell other people what they must do with their bodies?

Also, getting the shot doesn’t necessarily help a person to stay healthy. Even if it did, people have a fundamental right to decide for themselves what measures, if any, to take to stay healthy. People have a fundamental right to decide for themselves what risks, if any, to take with their health. Additionally, people have no obligation to help the people around them stay healthy. A person’s health is his/her own business, not the business of others.

The attitude demonstrated by this person reminds me of the screaming, angry rant of a sports commentator who, during the halftime of an NBA game, viciously insulted Kyrie Irving for his decision to abstain from the vaccine. “Just get a damn shot!” he shouted, as part of a stream of vitriol and abuse.

This nastiness towards someone who did nothing wrong completely baffles me and blows my mind. Why would someone feel anger towards Kyrie Irving for a medical decision that he made about his own body? The medical decisions that Kyrie makes are no one’s business but his. How could someone be angry about something that is none of his business?

I have the right to make decisions about my body. You have the right to make decisions about your body. You do not have the right to make decisions about my body.

Kyrie has the right to make decisions about Kyrie’s body. A nasty, yelling commentator does not have the right to make decisions about Kyrie’s body.

Contrary to said commentator’s claim, Kyrie actually doesn’t have to get a shot if he doesn’t want to. 

His body, his choice.

The attitude demonstrated by both the social media commenter and the TV analyst is immoral, illogical, and incomprehensible. This attitude pisses me off, and it needs to stop, yesterday.

People have a fundamental right not to get the shot.

You have no right to order them to get it.

It really is that simple.

bookmark_borderThe disgusting bigotry and sadism of David Leavitt

In one of the most disgusting, appalling, and hypocritical series of actions that I have ever seen, a so-called “journalist” named David Leavitt decided to viciously insult a political candidate, and subsequently to call Child Protective Services on said candidate, for the crime of having attended a Columbus Day ceremony with her daughter.

Leavitt instigated this conflict with Virginia state senate candidate Tina Ramirez by attacking her, asking on Twitter: “Why are you celebrating torture, rape, murder, and enslavement?”

When Ramirez dared to defend herself, Leavitt sicced his 330,000 followers on her by asking them, “Can someone please call child care services on Tina Ramirez who’s teaching her child to be a racist?”

Leavitt then proceeded to retweet dozens of mindless, sycophantic comments insulting both Ramirez and Christopher Columbus. And then, apparently too impatient to wait for his followers to do so, Leavitt called Child Protective Services himself and detailed his experience waiting on hold in a lengthy tweet thread.

And then, because this horrendous behavior apparently wasn’t horrendous enough, Leavitt complained when a Twitter user actually had the guts to stand up to him. “I’m being the subject of targeted harassment by someone who’s celebrating the torture, rape, murder, and enslavement of indigenous peoples,” he preposterously wrote. This after he instigated a conflict with an innocent person, who was minding her own business, by viciously insulting her and then urging his 330,000 followers to call CPS on her. For someone to complain that he is “being the subject of targeted harassment” immediately after himself instigating a campaign of targeted harassment is so hypocritical that it boggles the mind. I repeat: Leavitt is the one instigating a campaign of targeted harassment. He is the perpetrator of targeted harassment, not the victim.

Unbelievably, what I have described does not capture the full extent of Leavitt’s disgusting behavior. Throughout Columbus Day, he posted tweet after tweet characterizing the holiday as “celebrating torture, rape, murder, and enslavement.”

These comments are profoundly wrong. As I explained in an earlier blog post, obliterating a historical figure’s existence by removing their statues, monuments, and holidays inflicts harm and suffering on those historical figures and is the equivalent of torturing them to death. Given the enormous harm that has already been inflicted on Columbus through the grotesque dismemberment of his statues, celebrating “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” is the equivalent of going up to a person who is lying in a hospital bed in critical condition, and stomping on his face. To celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day is to celebrate and honor people who are brutally dismembering, and torturing to death, a historical figure.

So, no, Tina Ramirez was not “celebrating torture, rape, murder, and enslavement,” nor was she “teaching her child to be a racist.” She was celebrating Christopher Columbus. She was comforting, helping, and expressing solidarity with a person who has suffered enormous harm. And Leavitt chose to attack her for this. Leavitt chose to attack Ramirez because she helped a person in pain as opposed to stomping on his face.

No, the individual falsely accused by Leavitt of “targeted harassment” was not “celebrating the torture, rape, murder, and enslavement of indigenous peoples.” He was celebrating Christopher Columbus. He was expressing solidarity with a person who is suffering, as opposed to stomping on his face. And Leavitt chose to attack him for this.

“To all the companies “celebrating” torture, rape, murder, enslavement, and exploitation with the Happy Columbus Day posts: I see you #IndigenousPeoplesDay,” wrote Leavitt. But no companies were celebrating torture, rape, murder, enslavement, or exploitation. The companies were celebrating Christopher Columbus. These companies chose to express solidarity with a person who is suffering, as opposed to stomping on his face. And Leavitt chose to attack them for this.

“Why is the @GOP celebrating torture, rape, murder, and enslavement?” Leavitt asked. But the GOP was not celebrating torture, rape, murder, or enslavement. They were celebrating Christopher Columbus. They were expressing solidarity with a person who is suffering, as opposed to stomping on his face. And Leavitt chose to attack them for this.

“I just had to report a death threat from someone who’s who’s celebrating the torture, rape, murder, and enslavement of indigenous peoples,” wrote Leavitt. But no, this person was not celebrating the torture, rape, murder, or enslavement of indigenous peoples. The person was expressing solidarity with someone who is suffering, as opposed to stomping on his face. And Leavitt chose to attack him for this.

“I’m not religious, but people who celebrating torture, rape, murder, and enslavement surely don’t go to heaven,” Leavitt wrote. But no one was celebrating torture, rape, murder, or enslavement. The people in question were celebrating Christopher Columbus. They were expressing solidarity with someone who is suffering. And in my opinion, helping a suffering person makes one much more worthy of going to Heaven than stomping on his face.

To sum up, comforting, helping, and expressing solidarity with a suffering person is not the same thing as “celebrating torture, rape, murder, and enslavement.” In reality, David Leavitt and all those who celebrate “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” have been celebrating the infliction of harm, suffering, and pain. They have been celebrating the fact that a historical figure is being dismembered and tortured to death. For a person to celebrate something so unworthy of celebration is despicable enough, but Leavitt takes things even further by aggressively and viciously attacking anyone who has the audacity not to join him in his “celebration.” Leavitt chose, again and again, to aggressively and viciously attack people because they comforted, helped, and expressed solidarity with a suffering historical figure instead of stomping on his face. Perhaps Leavitt was somehow trying to make himself look and feel morally superior by beating up on someone who is wounded, hurting, and completely unable to defend himself. But all he did was reveal himself to be a nasty, sadistic bully with no compassion and no empathy. He should be ashamed of his words and behavior.

bookmark_borderThere is no right to “feel safe”

“Canadians have the right to feel safe in their homes, in their schools, and in their places of worship. With handgun violence increasing across Canada, it is our duty to take urgent action to remove these daily weapons from our communities. Today, we’re keeping more guns out of our communities, and keeping our kids safe.”

These words by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are despicable and disturbing on many levels.

Most importantly, neither Canadians, nor any people for that matter, have the right to “feel safe” anywhere. Safety is not a right; liberty is. What that means is that people have the right to do anything they want, as long as it does not directly harm anyone else. People have a right not to be harmed; this is what restricts the things that others are allowed to do. People do not, however, have a right to feel safe. This is because the things that some people require in order to feel safe would actually require violation of the rights of others. For example, say that a person, in order to feel safe, requires their environment to be made gun-free and/or restrictions to be imposed on the ownership or possessions of guns by others. Achieving these conditions would require other people to be harmed by having their freedom to own and possess guns taken away. People do not have a right to anything that would violate the rights of others. Therefore, people do not have a right to feel safe.

Trudeau also errs when he claims that he has a “duty to take urgent action.” Actually, because the action taken by Trudeau violates people’s rights, Trudeau does not even have the right to take this action, let alone the duty.

Additionally, Trudeau errs in citing the increase in handgun violence across Canada as a reason for violating people’s rights. The conditions that exist in a particular place, or at a particular time, actually have nothing to do with which policies governments should implement. This is because the sole purpose of government policies should be to specify which rights people have, and to punish people who violate the rights of others. The moral principle that I explained above, which determines the rights that people have, is universal and objective and does not change based on what conditions happen to exist in a particular place or time. Therefore, government policies with regard to guns should have nothing to do with the amount of gun violence that happens to exist in the country. The only policy that any government should have with regard to guns is a policy stating that people have a fundamental right to gun ownership and possession. People’s rights are not dependent on living in a country that happens to have low gun violence rates.

Also, why is Trudeau bragging about “keeping more guns out of our communities”? Why is this considered good? Guns are morally neutral. Having lots of guns in a community is in no way a worse state of affairs than having few guns in a community, so this statement does not make sense.

Plus, why does Trudeau specifically mention “keeping our kids safe”? What does a person’s age have to do with the importance of keeping that person safe? Apparently, the safety of adults does not matter to Trudeau.

Trudeau needs to place less emphasis on “communities” and more emphasis on individuals. He needs to place less value on safety and more value on liberty. Trudeau needs to stop his morally bankrupt and illogical behavior that has inflicted enormous harm and punishment on innocent people. He needs to stop obsessing about “kids” and “safety” and “communities” and start actually respecting people’s fundamental rights.