bookmark_border“You are standing on Native land”

This picture, seen on social media, angers me.

It angers me that some organization or company or government entity (I’m not sure exactly who is responsible) made the decision to create a sign like this.

All my life, I’ve been told that I do everything wrong. That everything about me is wrong and bad. That I wear the wrong clothes, the wrong shoes, the wrong socks. That I read the wrong books, listen to the wrong music, watch the wrong shows. That I hold my pencil the wrong way, play with my toys the wrong way, wash my hair the wrong way, wash my face the wrong way, floss my teeth the wrong way. That I stand wrong, sit wrong, speak wrong, use words wrong.

And now I am being told that I have the wrong skin color and the wrong ancestry. After a lifetime of being told that everything about me is wrong and bad, I am now being told that I don’t deserve to exist in the city of Boston, due to the color of my skin and the fact that my ancestors came from Europe. Due to things about me that I have absolutely no control over.

All my life, I’ve suppressed my autistic self in order to fit in with neurotypical people. And now I am being told that because I happen to have European ancestry, I need to grovel at the feet of indigenous people in order to be allowed to exist. That because of where my ancestors came from, I don’t have a right to exist in the only city that I have ever called home.

All my life, I’ve been told that I need to apologize for everything about myself. And now I am being told that because of my skin color and my ancestry, I need to apologize for my very existence.

All my life, I’ve been made to feel wrong, worthless, bad, and messed-up. It is angering and demoralizing that someone would create a sign designed to make me feel even more this way.

I’m sick and tired of having to apologize for my existence. A native person is not superior to me. I have just as much of a right to exist in Boston as anyone else does.

bookmark_borderThe ridiculous reaction to an act of self-defense

“It’s insane that Walgreens has armed security; there’s nothing in that store worth a human life, and Walgreens is not taking care of our community. We demand an end to armed security.”

These are the words of an activist named Jessica Nowlan, from an organization called the Young Women’s Freedom Center (source: Yahoo News). These words came in response to the death of Banko Brown, who was killed by a security guard while attempting to shoplift from a Walgreens in San Francisco. Because Brown happened to be black and transgender, the worshippers of political correctness predictably erupted in outrage, calling Walgreens and its security guard racist and transphobic.

Nowlan’s reasoning does not make sense from a moral point of view, for reasons that I will explain below:

First, all people have a fundamental right to possess whichever type of weapons they want, whether they are a security guard or not, and whether they are on the job or on their own personal time. Therefore, to demand an end to armed security violates the right of security guards to bear arms.

Second, I don’t really understand the criticism of Walgreens for “not taking care of our community.” Walgreens is not obligated to take care of any community. Walgreens is a business, and its job is to sell products. As long as Walgreens is not violating anyone’s rights, it is not doing anything wrong.

And Walgreens did not violate anyone’s rights in this case. Obviously, in normal circumstances, people have a right not to be killed. But that all goes out the window if a person is doing something wrong. By stealing things, Brown was violating Walgreens’ rights. And when you violate someone else’s rights, you forfeit your own. Neither Walgreens nor its security guard did anything wrong by defending their own rights against someone who was trying to violate them.

This brings me to my most important point, which is to address Nowlan’s claim that it is “insane” for Walgreens to have armed security because “there’s nothing in that store worth a human life.” The problem with this line of reasoning is that you don’t determine right from wrong merely by weighing two things and determining which is more valuable. Obviously, if you weigh a person’s life against the stuff that is sold in a store, yes, a person’s life is the more valuable of the two things. All else being equal, of course it is better for Walgreens to lose some of their products than for a person to lose their life. But in this situation, all else is not equal. The person in this situation – Brown – did something wrong, while Walgreens did not. It is actually morally preferable for Brown to lose their life than for Walgreens to lose their products, because Brown created the situation that necessitated choosing between life and products in the first place. It is wrong to expect Walgreens to just absorb the theft of its products in order to protect the life of the person stealing them. This would punish Walgreens, an innocent party that did nothing wrong, while allowing Brown, who did something wrong, to avoid punishment. Any outcome that involves an innocent entity being punished is not a morally acceptable outcome, even if the entity is a huge corporation such as Walgreens.

One might, of course, argue that death is a disproportionate punishment for shoplifting, and I would agree with this argument. But the alternative to giving Brown a disproportionate punishment is for Walgreens to simply absorb the theft of its property, which is morally unacceptable for the reasons explained above. It is still morally preferable for someone who did something wrong to be punished excessively than for an innocent entity to be punished at all.

Nowlan’s reasoning is wrong because it completely ignores a fundamental, basic moral concept: the distinction between someone who has done something wrong and someone who hasn’t.

To reiterate sentiments that I’ve expressed numerous times, but which continue needing to be repeated, the fact that something bad happened to a black, transgender person does not mean that the bad thing happened because the person was black and transgender. Brown was killed not because they were black and transgender; Brown was killed because they were shoplifting from Walgreens.

Brown is the person who did something wrong in this case, not Walgreens and not the security guard.

bookmark_borderRights are not the same as “convenience”

Inconvenience. This word is used to describe many things, including:

  • Requiring people to remove their shoes and even clothes while going through airport security, or to pass through full-body scanners that reveal their nude bodies.
  • Requiring people to undergo covid testing or receive covid vaccines.
  • Telling people that they must stay home and banning them from existing in public places such as beaches and parks.
  • Requiring people to provide medical and/or psychological records in order to be allowed to own a gun.

Contrary to the opinions of authoritarian-leaning people, the above things are not inconveniences. They are violations of rights.

People have a right to privacy. People have a right to bodily autonomy. People have a right to move about freely. People have a right to bear arms.

Privacy, bodily autonomy, freedom of movement, and gun ownership are not “conveniences.” They are basic rights.

An inconvenience is having to wait in a long line at the post office, or having to pay for something in cash, or encountering more traffic than usual, or finding out that your train is running late, or experiencing weather that is different than you thought it would be so that the clothing you chose ends up being too warm or too cold.

Taking basic rights away from people is not an inconvenience. It is immoral, it is unacceptable, and it should never happen. It is the epitome of moral wrong.

To refer to violations of rights as “inconveniences” is to warp language so that aggressors avoid accountability for their actions, while the burden of scrutiny and criticism is unfairly placed on their victims. Rights are pooh-poohed as something silly and stupid, their loss dismissed as “no big deal” and something we should just get used to. This enables aggressors to be perceived as holding the moral high ground, while those who correctly object to their rights being violated are portrayed as the problem. We are described as entitled, spoiled, immature, petty, selfish, unreasonable, and lacking in grit and resilience, and criticized for valuing our “convenience” over other people’s safety, security, and health. 

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

And nothing could be more despicable than to frame debates in such a way.

Rights are not a luxury. Rights are not a mere convenience, like an Uber ride or a contactless credit card or a smoothly-running subway system or a mobile app that allows you to avoid waiting in line. Having one’s rights respected is a necessity, without which life is not worth living at all.

Whether people’s rights are respected or violated is a matter of moral right and wrong, not a matter of convenience or inconvenience.

bookmark_borderSomeone doesn’t understand what an opinion is…

I recently came across the below post on social media, which really irritated me as it is an example of the arrogance and logical inconsistency demonstrated by many on the left-hand side of the political spectrum: 

“I want to be absolutely, positively, utterly, certainly [expletive] clear on this. An opinion is for whether pineapple goes on pizza, red sauce or white sauce, and whether you’re a winter or a summer color.

It is not, and I repeat, it is NOT, about whether trans people should have gender affirming medical care. No one is doing surgeries on trans kids. Puberty blockers are just that: blockers. When they’re stopped, puberty resumes. These treatments and those like them have a 99% effective rate, which would be considered [expletive] MIRACULOUS in every other field of medicine. That little 1% of people who de-transition overwhelmingly do so because they feel unsafe to transition or that their livelihood is jeopardized somehow, AND OFTEN RETRANSITION. For context, fully 8% of parents in one study claimed regret over having children, and another 6% on top of that said they initially regretted it but no longer do… But you still see people having babies and making decisions for their own [expletive] lives.

It is unspeakably VILE to me that anyone would be in a position to engage with children in a professional, healthcare setting, who would deny them access to care, or shame them for desiring it, and continue to espouse this both-sidesism when you are CLEARLY uninterested in hearing from actual trans people regarding care that has saved their lives, and would have made their early lives infinitely easier and less traumatic and dysphoric. Doubly vile to claim the mantle of priesthood while doing it. Trans people, and trans youth, deserve better.”

The question that pops into my mind upon reading this is: what right does this person have to tell everyone else in the world what an opinion is, and what an opinion isn’t? Who the heck is he to dictate the topics on which people are and are not allowed to have opinions?

Believe it or not, an opinion can be for any topic whatsoever. An opinion can be about which toppings should be added to pizza, what type of sauce is best, which colors a person should wear, OR whether trans people should have “gender affirming medical care.” As shocking as this might be, people can have opinions on any of these topics.

Obviously, the person who made this post disagrees with the opinion that there should be restrictions on medical procedures related to gender transition. But it does not follow that such a position is somehow not actually an opinion at all. No matter how strongly you disagree with another person’s opinion on gender transitioning, no matter how wrong you believe that opinion to be, it is, in fact, an opinion. The fact that an opinion differs from your own doesn’t make it not an opinion

The person who made this post is seemingly arguing that it is only possible for people to have opinions on topics that he considers to be relatively unimportant. If a person disagrees with him on an issue that he feels strongly about, the logic apparently goes, then their position on that issue is somehow not actually an opinion. But that simply makes no sense. People can have opinions on things that are unimportant, and people can have opinions on things that are important. (People can even have – gasp! – differing opinions on the relative importance and unimportance of different things!) People can have opinions that are wrong, and people can have opinions that are right. People can hold any conceivable position on any conceivable topic. That’s what an opinion is.

Another thing that merits mentioning is the inconsistency in how the “woke” ideology treats transgender rights compared to other issues. The person who made this post seems to feel pretty strongly about people’s right to make “decisions for their own [expletive] lives” even when there is a risk that the person will later regret the decision. But somehow, I doubt that this person is equally passionate about the right to decline medical interventions, such as vaccines for example. I would bet good money that this person actually vociferously opposes such a right.

It is illogical and immoral to consider the right to transition-related medical interventions so basic that people aren’t allowed to have dissenting opinions about it, while simultaneously opposing the right to decline medical intervention. As “unspeakably VILE” as this person considers the denial of care to be, it is even more vile to force care on people who do not want it. Yet this is precisely what countless Democratic mayors, city councils, governors, state legislatures, members of Congress, and the President of the United States have done. Where is the outrage about this far more serious violation of fundamental rights? 

Among those on the left-hand side of the political spectrum, nowhere. (Or more accurately, it was directed at those expressing opposition to the rights violations, instead of at the violations themselves.) I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. One can no longer expect adherents of “woke” ideology to demonstrate logical consistency. Or any logic whatsoever, for that matter.

bookmark_borderBullies don’t deserve their land back

“Land back”

These are the words that have written by racist bigots time and time again when they attack symbols of European culture, history, and religion (including, just this week, the statue of Christopher Columbus in New York City).

The people (and I use that word loosely) who write such things do not deserve their land back.

In fact, the land in question is not theirs, nor has it ever been.

Any person who attacks symbols of Christopher Columbus does so because Columbus symbolizes being different and thinking for oneself. People who attack symbols of Columbus do so because they have no tolerance for anyone who is different than them. They care only about themselves and those who look and think as they do. In their eyes, other people’s feelings, thoughts, opinions, and perspectives don’t matter. People who attack symbols of Columbus value nothing but mindless conformity and strive to obliterate all diversity from the world. 

Anyone with such values and aims is a bully, a bigot, and a morally bad person.

Bullies and bigots do not deserve their land back.

People who have no tolerance for other ethnicities, cultures, and ways of thinking do not deserve their land back.

People who claim to have experienced trauma and oppression, while actively inflicting further pain and suffering on those who have actually experienced trauma and oppression, do not deserve their land back.

People who destroy an autistic person’s special interest, and then ridicule that person for having the audacity to be upset about the fact that everything that made their life worth living was just destroyed, do not deserve their land back.

Those who vandalize statues with the words “Land Back,” or who attack historical figures in even more despicable ways, are not oppressed. They are not victims. They have not experienced trauma. They do not hold the moral high ground. They are just bullies. Vicious, cruel, mean-spirited, and nasty bullies. Full of self-righteousness, they take delight in inflicting pain on people whom they have judged to be inferior, merely because they are different. There is nothing righteous about that.

As an autistic person, I have been treated all my life as if I do not belong. And now I am being told that because I have light skin, and because my ancestors came from Italy and Scandinavia, I do not belong on this continent.

Pardon my French, but… fuck that.

Starting at age 12, I saved up allowance money, birthday and Christmas money, and earnings from part-time and later full-time jobs to buy a small house on a small plot of land. My house, along with the land on which it stands, is mine. I worked backbreakingly hard, overcoming obstacle after obstacle in a world not designed for my needs, to earn the money to buy it. 

A racist and intolerant bully, who hates me because I was born with a different skin color and a different type of brain than they have, has no right to my land.

bookmark_borderExhausted, defeated, and demoralized

Exhausted. Defeated. Demoralized.

These are the words that capture how I feel at the moment, thanks to a society that seeks, apparently, to obliterate everything even remotely positive, inspiring, beautiful, or interesting from the world. The morally bankrupt ideology of mindless conformism continues its inexorable march. Everything that makes life worth living is destroyed, slowly but surely, bit by bit, piece by excruciating piece.

Today’s example of this sickening phenomenon is the fact that the Nao Santa Maria, a replica of Christopher Columbus’s flagship, changed tis name to the Nao Trinidad, representing Ferdinand Magellan’s flagship instead. The exhibits about Columbus’s voyage that were inside the ship have been replaced with exhibits about Magellan. 

I assume (though I am not 100% certain) that the name change was a response to the bigots who protested against the Nao Santa Maria’s existence when it visited Bucksport, Maine in 2021. Making this yet another instance of our society rewarding bigots for being bigots, rewarding bullies for carrying out bullying, and rewarding those who engage in public displays of vicious hatred against unfavored groups for engaging in precisely those displays. 

I am sick and tired of intolerant bullies getting everything that they want, and me getting nothing. I am sick and tired of everything that I love, everything that makes me happy, everything that makes life worth living, everything beautiful, amazing, distinctive, and/or interesting being wiped from the world. I am sick of not being listened to, not being understood, my voice and my perspective not being acknowledged or taken into account. I am sick and tired of fighting, of arguing, of having to justify again and again why I love who I love and why I feel the way I do. 

I am weary, I am exhausted, and I am worn out. 

On days like today, I hate everything. I hate Magellan, I hate ships, I hate America, and I hate history. The mere thought of these topics brings the sting of tears to my eyes and makes me feel like a knife is being twisted in my chest. On days like today I even hate Columbus, as paradoxical as that may sound. I have been fighting so hard for nearly three years, and I am completely exhausted. Everything seems pointless. Logically, perhaps it doesn’t even make sense to love Columbus at all. On days like today, the thought occurs to me that perhaps he isn’t worth the unfathomable amounts of grief, rage, and mental anguish that I have experienced in my attempts to protect and defend him. Are any of his accomplishments, merits, or positive qualities really enough to justify the belief that he is necessary in order for life to be worth living? But regardless of the answer to this question, the truth remains, that I love him. I cannot not love him. I cannot give up on him and commence to love a different person instead. The truth remains that without him, life is not worth living. That is the truth to me, whether logical or not. I cannot change the way that I feel, I cannot give up, even if I somehow decided that that would be the best course of action.

So today, I am tired. I am tired of fighting for my right to exist. I want to be able to actually enjoy the things that I love for once, without having to fight like hell to be allowed to love them, without having to rebut cruel insults, without having to constantly defend against vicious attacks. I want to be able to read a book, open a newspaper, turn on the TV, or surf the web without being traumatized again and again. I want to live in peace, without being repeatedly assaulted by sickening waves of grief, rage, injustice, heartbreak, and loss coursing through my mind and body. My limbs feel like they are made of lead, my hands feel numb, and my brain is foggy and slow. I am exhausted.

Why do I have to fight so hard? Why can’t people just partake in the things that they enjoy, and allow me to do the same? Why do people feel the need to destroy the things that other people enjoy, just because they themselves do not like them? Do the people who have done this to me even know that this is what they have done? Would they feel bad if they knew, or is this exactly what they are trying to achieve? 

Perhaps most importantly: Why does our society reward the people who do this, and cede to them sole possession of the moral high ground, when this is the exact opposite of what they deserve?

Today I am crying, defeated and exhausted. Today, as has been the case on far too many occasions, the bullies have won. I am sorry that I could not come up with a more positive and hopeful blog post, but unfortunately, such a blog post would be inauthentic. Perhaps future days will be better, but today I am really feeling the toll that the bullies’ actions have taken, and I feel that it is important to accurately convey the full extent of this toll.

bookmark_borderBaltimore and abomination

The past two and a half years have changed me. The atrocities I’ve witnessed are impossible to forget, no matter how much time goes by. Sometimes they will hit me, seemingly out of nowhere. While walking home from work, while watching a hockey or basketball or football or baseball game, or while lying in bed trying to fall asleep, I am often assaulted by images of the people I love being brutally obliterated from existence.

Last night, as is often the case, it was Christopher Columbus. Specifically the version of Christopher Columbus who used to live in Baltimore. The version of Christopher Columbus who in July of 2020 was surrounded by a mob of vicious bullies, strangled with a noose, and pulled to the ground with a sickening thud, where his beautiful stone body was smashed into four pieces. The version of Christopher Columbus whose broken, pitiful pieces were then dragged to the harbor and heaved like garbage into its waters.

There are no words in any language that are adequate to accurately describe this series of events, although I have labored for two and a half years to find them. The pain that these actions have inflicted on me is beyond description and beyond measure. The closest that I can come to describing things accurately is to say that this is an abomination. The immorality of these actions is the most severe immorality possible. Actions like this are worse than 9/11 and worse than the Holocaust. Actions like this are worse than all the atrocities and all the injustices that have ever occurred in history, combined.

Things like 9/11, or the Holocaust, only involve people being killed. To destroy a statue is far worse than this, because to destroy a statue is to kill a person who is already dead. For a living person to be killed is both sad and unjust (assuming that the person did not do anything to deserve being killed), but because everyone is mortal, the person would eventually have died anyway, just at a later date. But statues are supposed to be permanent. They are not supposed to die at all. Historical figures are supposed to be immortal, and statues are historical figures in physical form. When one kills a statue, one kills a historical figure. And killing a historical figure is far worse than killing a living person, because not only is the person’s physical body dead, but now their existence as a historical figure is dead too, their existence in people’s minds and memory. When one kills a statue, one kills a person who already died, and no person is supposed to die a second time. This second death, effected by the destruction of a historical figure’s statue or monument, is an even more complete and final form of death than the person’s original, physical death. It is therefore an even more immoral action than killing a living person, and even more harmful to its target. It is never supposed to happen.

And that is only one statue. Think about the number of statues destroyed in recent years by the Black Lives Matter movement, and you will start to realize the magnitude of the immorality that transpired.

Things like 9/11, or the Holocaust, are events that happened in history. Sad and unjust events, but events that are part of history, nonetheless. For history includes both positive and negative, both sad and happy, both just and unjust events.

Destruction of statues is not merely an event in history. Destruction of statues is the destruction of history.

Therefore, destruction of statues is not merely sad, not merely unjust.

It is an abomination.

It is not supposed to happen.

It is wrong.

When a living person is killed, one can always have an imaginary world, in which the person survives, is healed, is comforted. One can always picture the person in happier circumstances, the wrong righted, or the perpetrators punished. But when a historical figure is killed, one cannot do that. I know, because for almost my entire life, I have had an imaginary world inhabited by historical figures. Thanks to the abominations of 2020 to the present, my imaginary world has been destroyed. Many nights, I try to think about Christopher, to bring him to life in my imaginary world. I try to picture him somehow overcoming the vicious attacks, being pieced back together, being healed, being comforted, regaining his strength, and eventually triumphing over the brutal bullies who fought to stamp out his existence. But my attempts are futile. There can be no overcoming, no triumph, because what the Baltimore people did was just so vicious, so cruel, and so brutal, the destruction of Christopher so final and so complete. A positive resolution would be possible in the imaginary world if Christopher had merely been killed, but that’s not what happened. Christopher was killed after having already died. And not just once, in Baltimore, but dozens of times, in dozens of cities all over the world. Christopher was killed in the most vicious, cruel, and brutal ways, again and again and again, when he could do absolutely nothing to defend himself. Killing a historical figure in statue form is simply the meanest action imaginable, because it completely destroys the person, not just in the real world, but also in the imaginary one.

That is the nature of an abomination. It doesn’t only wreak destruction in the real world. It reaches into the imaginary world and destroys that, too.

Police did nothing to stop the bullies from murdering Christopher. Nor did they do anything to arrest them, or charge them with any crimes. The mayor neglected to condemn the bullies, or even to criticize them in any way. Leaders of the Italian American community in Baltimore, those who should have been fighting most fiercely on Christopher’s behalf, stated that they did not wish the perpetrators to be punished. Instead, they agreed to reward the perpetrators, and to inflict yet further harm on Christopher, by removing his name from the piazza where he was murdered and renaming it the “Piazza Little Italy.”

The reaction, or lack thereof, from those who are supposed to enforce justice and protect people’s rights, only adds to the magnitude of the abomination.

The nature of an abomination is that it contaminates everything around it. Obviously, I hate the perpetrators of this abomination. I hate them as fiercely as it is possibly to hate anyone or anything. I also hate the city of Baltimore itself. Hearing or seeing the city’s name is enough to fill me with a sinking feeling of revulsion and disgust. I hate the state of Maryland. I hate the Baltimore Orioles and the Baltimore Ravens. I hate the Preakness Stakes, and I hate Pimlico race course. On bad days, I hate the Triple Crown, because the Preakness is part of it, and even horse racing in its entirety. On really bad days, I hate every person who is from Maryland or who has ever lived there. For example, I might think of the fact that Katie Ledecky is from Bethesda, Maryland, which causes me to hate swimming, and by extension, to hate the Olympics.

Because of the abomination that happened in Baltimore, it is difficult for me to sleep, it is difficult for me to be awake, and it is difficult for me to continue existing in this world. I am filled with shame and revulsion at the thought that I am a citizen of the same country where such an abomination happened. The same country in which a mayor, a police force, a governor, a president, a congress, the Italian American community, and the population as a whole have decided that this abomination is perfectly fine, that it does not merit any type of condemnation or criticism. That Christopher’s life, apparently, does not matter, because he is not black.

My hatred for the perpetrators of this abomination is so strong that I yearn to rip them limb from limb, to strangle them, to drown them. I wish for them to experience what Christopher did, when they so brutally murdered him. I wish for them to be tortured to death, and I would gladly be the one to carry it out. Failing that, I wish myself to die. Because I cannot live if doing so means living on the same planet, and being part of the same species, as the people who did this. Because one planet does not seem big enough for both me and the Baltimore people to coexist.

I cannot live in a society that has decided that the appropriate response to an abomination is to rename the very piazza where it occurred in order to better accommodate the preferences of its perpetrators.

I will never, ever forget, and I will never, ever forgive what the people (and I use that term loosely) in Baltimore did to Christopher Columbus. What they did is despicable. It destroyed my entire world and created an abomination in the universe that contaminates everything in its vicinity.

They do not hold the moral high ground.

bookmark_borderThe immorality of the Southern Poverty Law Center

The Southern Poverty Law Center recently made the below Facebook post, which really angered me. 

This post is infuriating for numerous reasons:

“It’s past time we remove ALL memorials dedicated to the Confederacy!”

False. As an autistic person whose special interest is the Confederacy, memorials dedicated to the Confederacy are necessary in order for me to have a life that is worth living. A world without memorials dedicated to the Confederacy is a world that might as well not even exist at all. So, no, it is not “past time” to remove the things that I need in order to have a life worth living. Removing things that people need in order to have a life worth living should never be done at any point in time. 

Each and every removal of a Confederate monument has inflicted horrific and unbearable pain on me. Each and every removal of a Confederate monument is completely unacceptable. What actually needs to be done is to put these monuments back in their rightful locations in order to rectify the painful situation. Not to inflict even more pain, as the SPLC advocates. 

“Earlier this week, Richmond, Virginia, continued taking action to correct its alignment with the divisive Confederacy: The very last Confederate monument sitting on public space in the city was removed.” 

Richmond, Virginia was not taking action to “correct” anything. Alignment with the Confederacy is a good thing, because the Confederacy was fighting against the federal government. For this reason, everyone should be aligned with the Confederacy, and the fact that some people and places aren’t, is the thing that needs to be corrected. Rather, Richmond, Virginia was taking an action that inflicted horrific and unbearable pain and destroyed everything that makes life worth living. I don’t understand why anyone would consider this to be even remotely a good thing. Allowing people to have lives that are worth living is not something that needs to be corrected. 

Also, I’m not sure what the “divisiveness” of the Confederacy has to do with anything. Whether something is divisive or not is determined by what the public opinion happens to be in a society. If something is liked by most people, then it is not considered divisive. If people have strongly differing opinions about something, then it is considered divisive. But moral right and wrong are objective truths that have nothing to do with what happens to be popular in a society. Therefore, whether or not something is divisive has nothing to do with whether the thing in question is good or bad. Calling the Confederacy “divisive” in this context is a logical fallacy. The Confederacy may well be divisive, but that has nothing to do with its moral goodness or badness.

“If the former flagship of the Confederacy can remove all of its Confederate monuments, then all of our cities can.”

Um, yes, all of our cities can commit immoral actions that inflict horrific and unbearable pain and destroy everything that makes life worth living. But given that such actions are immoral, inflict horrific and unbearable pain, and destroy everything that makes life worth living, I’m not sure why anyone would advocate that cities do so.

“Explore our resources to find out more about the history of Confederate monuments and what you can do to help remove them.”

Again, given that removing Confederate monuments is immoral, inflicts horrific and unbearable pain, and destroys everything that makes life worth living, I’m not sure why anyone would want to help do this, or why anyone would advocate such a thing.

“Take down monuments glorifying the Confederacy.”

Given that monuments glorifying the Confederacy are necessary for me to have a life that is worth living, no, no one should take down monuments glorifying the Confederacy. 

Taking down monuments glorifying the Confederacy is immoral, because it inflicts horrific and unbearable pain and destroys everything that makes life worth living

In case I haven’t made myself sufficiently clear: inflicting horrific and unbearable pain, and destroying everything that makes life worth living, is bad. It is not okay. It is not even remotely a positive thing. It is not something that should ever be done, advocated for, praised, or celebrated in any way. 

It is beyond wrong and beyond infuriating that after two and a half years of literally hundreds of instances of horrific pain being inflicted on me, the SPLC would advocate for the infliction of yet more pain. That after two and a half years of getting their way on essentially everything – the rights, feelings, and perspectives of other people be damned – the SPLC would demand even more. That after two and a half years of brutal, vicious destruction of everything beautiful and good in the world, the SPLC would consider the continued existence of a meager handful of beautiful and good things to be the problem.

Pardon my French, but… fuck the Southern Poverty Law Center, their bigotry, and their complete and utter lack of empathy and human decency.

People who advocate for the infliction of horrific and unbearable pain, and for the eradication of everything that makes life worth living, do not hold the moral high ground.

bookmark_borderPatrick Lindsay is a pathetic little bitch

If it weren’t bad enough that the city of Richmond decided to desecrate the grave of General A.P. Hill, the contractor who carried out the hideous work decided to make things even worse with a series of flippant and sometimes profane Facebook posts insulting and ridiculing General Hill.

Patrick Lindsay, the Director of Operations of the contracting company in question, made an extensive series of posts showing the once magnificent monument being hideously dismantled and the grave site being turned into a pathetic pile of rubble. Lindsay brags about his role in the despicable act of desecration and proudly poses for a selfie in front of his horrific handiwork.

“AP Hill caved like a pathetic little bitch,” Lindsay wrote in one caption.

In another post, he wrote: “As far as I can tell the inventory was a few buttons, the brass hardware from the oaken box, two femurs, a skull, some assorted ribs, and a pelvis… No partridges. No pear trees.”

Seeing the photos of this vicious and intentional destruction makes me feel as if my soul is being crushed, and as if a knife is being twisted in my heart. Yet again, everything that makes my life worth living, dismantled piece by excruciating piece, deliberately reduced to a pitiful pile of rocks. The fact that anyone could witness (let alone participate in) such a thing and post about it in such a casual, flippant, and joking manner… is incomprehensible. Disgusting. Appalling. Abhorrent. No words are quite sufficient to express the pain that these actions have caused me.

So I’d like to correct Mr. Lindsay.

In reality, A.P. Hill was a brave and skilled general who fought for what he believed in.

And in reality, Patrick Lindsay is a pathetic little bitch.

Patrick Lindsay has never in his life demonstrated even a shred of courage, integrity, or moral character. In fact, he chose to do the most cowardly thing a human being could ever do. He chose to attack, insult, and ridicule someone who is completely helpless, someone who cannot do anything whatsoever to defend himself. Someone who is dead.

Hopefully Patrick Lindsay dies painfully one day, like A.P. Hill did, and hopefully, years later, someone desecrates his grave, digs up his remains, and profanely insults and ridicules him. Then maybe his soul (if it even exists, which is doubtful, now that I think about it) will look upon what is happening and gain a tiny shred of understanding of what A.P. Hill has gone through.

Far too many people have lost sight of the fact that every historical figure was a human being. And no human being deserves to be treated the way A.P. Hill has been treated.

A.P. Hill didn’t deserve to be murdered by an invading army that was waging a war to force people to remain part of the United States against their will. (That was what the Union side in the Civil War was doing.)

A.P. Hill didn’t deserve to be murdered again, over 150 years after his physical death, by having his statue obliterated and his remains desecrated.

A.P. Hill didn’t deserve to be insulted and ridiculed by a coward who has never suffered any hardships, never taken a stand for any principles, and never contributed anything positive to the world.

I stand with A.P. Hill.

Pardon my French, but…

Fuck Patrick Lindsay, and fuck every miserable excuse for a person who thinks that murdering historical figures is even remotely acceptable.

bookmark_borderMarriage is not “the very definition of freedom and liberty”

Rep. Nancy Mace recently wrote an opinion piece for Fox News in which she argued in favor of the Respect for Marriage Act. “The right to marry the person you love is the very definition of freedom and liberty,” Mace wrote.

I strongly disagree with this claim. There are numerous rights that are far more basic and fundamental than the ability to marry. To give a few examples:

  • The right to purchase, carry, own, and possess firearms and other weapons
  • The right to decide whether or not to get a medical procedure
  • The right to consume whatever substances one wishes, in whatever amounts one wishes
  • The right to spend one’s time the way one wishes
  • The right to move about freely
  • The right to keep one’s own money
  • The right to be free from searches of one’s person, possessions, and property
  • The right to privacy of one’s medical information
  • The right to privacy of one’s internet browsing activity
  • The right to privacy, period.

The very definition of freedom and liberty is the ability to live your life as you please. The activities most central to freedom and liberty are individual activities, not social ones or communal ones. In other words, the activities most central to freedom and liberty are activities that people do alone, or at least activities that do not require the involvement of other people in order to be meaningful or to make sense. And that is what the activities listed above have in common. The definition of freedom and liberty is the ability to do what one wishes to do, without interference from others.

There is definitely an argument to be made that people have a right to enter into whatever types of relationships they wish with other people. Items in this category include marriage, as well as freedom of association and freedom of assembly. But these types of freedoms are not as fundamental as the right to be free from interference, aggression, pressure, or coercion. Individual rights are the very definition of freedom and liberty.

It is angering that many on the left-hand side of the political spectrum (I place Rep. Mace into this category even though she is technically a Republican) place such a large degree of importance on freedoms that are related to sex, without seeming to place any importance whatsoever on other types of freedoms. People who subscribe to this way of thinking go on and on about abortion, contraception, marriage, and the ability to express oneself sexually and have one’s sexual identity respected. Ad nauseam, they insult and vilify Republicans for allegedly threatening to take away “our rights and freedoms.” Yet with regard to non-sex-related freedoms, the left is either apathetic or actively hostile (gun rights, the right to decline medical intervention, the right to move about freely, the right to keep one’s own money, and the right to medical privacy, to name just a few freedoms that the left has recently been crusading passionately against). To many politicians, it is apparently perfectly fine for people to be able to do whatever they want sex-wise, while at the same time having absolutely no freedom in any other areas of their lives. This obsession with sex is illogical and hypocritical. Sex is not the only aspect of life that matters – and for some people sex is not part of their lives at all! – so it is important that all freedoms and liberties be protected, and not only sex-related ones.

It is shameful that Congress is spending time and energy protecting the “right” to marry the person you love, while actual rights are under assault. The heart and soul of liberty – its very definition – consists of freedom from interference by other people. Until that most fundamental form of freedom is universally respected, unanimously agreed upon, and secured for everyone beyond the shadow of a doubt, it is hurtful and wrong to focus on the freedom to marry.