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NeoNotes — Looking good

??Unscientific test.

Two video monitors of equal size. A dozen people, some of who were Democrats. Both videos played side by side with the volume turned down. All but one person thought that Trump came across stronger, more confident, better body language, and more convincingly. One guy said that Pelosi and Schumer looked like high school student council candidates.

Again, I don't like Trump and I don't trust Trump. But compared to the Democrat leadership, well, there's no comparison.

Is anyone else reminded of the Kennedy-Nixon debate???

??Kennedy vs. Nixon.

Regardless of what was said, visually Trump came across looking very well. Pelosi and Schumer came across looking like two high schoolers running for student council. That observation isn't mine, but I am caging it anyway. Why in the World were they sharing a lectern?

Trump came across as an executive with pictures of his loved ones in the background. And with only one American flag. Pelosi and Schumer looked like they got kicked out of the cafeteria and they dragged in flags to make the walls look good.

As an aside, the trend of using multiple flags behind you to show your patriotism is stupid.

Kennedy vs. Nixon.

If you'll remember, I told you before you need to focus on the things that Trump does that are actually wrong. I specifically mentioned his misuse of eminent domain in the past. Lo and behold, the key part of his emergency plan is eminent domain.

Peepers, you focus on the wrong things when you attack Trump. You have from the very first. And you continually mistake my not agreeing with you as support of Trump.

Trump has been making Democrats look bad since he announced. It doesn't help when Democrats continually underestimate him. Even if they ignore everything that Trump did before, there's not a one of the Democrat Congressional leadership who has ever negotiated anything outside government. Trump is playing this exactly right and the optics reflect that.

You want to take Trump down? I'll tell you what to focus on. Eminent domain. The volatility of the stock market. Not the direction, but how fast and how far it changes direction. There's some major instability there. His treatment of the EU, particularly downgrading the ambassador. National security, particularly spying on Americans. Healthcare. War on drugs. Prescription drugs and self medication. The Second Amendment. Social Security and pensions. The national debt. Military spending and accountability. Free speech. Protectionism. Start with those.

You can't treat him as a Republican politico because he isn't one. And don't forget that this man has been dragging his fights and negotiations through the press for forty years. Remember that exchange from the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie about the worst pirate. Trump doesn't care if the press is good or bad, he just wants the press.

This came from an unscientific experiment that some friends and I did. And yes, some of them were Democrats. We ran the videos side by side on two monitors with the sound turned off.

Trump looked like he belonged. Pelosi and Schumer didn't. Their body language showed that they were unhappy, probably because they were sharing a lectern and neither wanted to share the spotlight. Pay attention to their hands specifically. Trump looked friendly, Pelosi and Schumer looked like they wanted to strangle someone.

I never have liked the multiple American flag thing, not even when it started with Bush League. I think it was him, he was the one I noticed using it first. Certainly the Democrats of that time were doing it. I think it is purposely distracting. Come to think of it, that's when I remember multiple Democrats sharing a lectern. Or at least all standing behind one person at the lectern.

As for the Z group, I adjusted my tactics accordingly. They wanted to ignore the political implications when those same implications were central to the argument, whether they wished to acknowledge that or not.

You on the other hand don't like to deal when facts or actions don't fit your script. You think that opposing someone means throwing every insult and accusation possible at them in the hope that something sticks. You're not willing to look the person's history and adjust accordingly. You let the labels control your expectations and then get frustrated when things don't turn out the way you want.

I was never against criticizing Trump. I was against criticizing Trump stupidly foolishly in ways that would make him look stronger and better. Throwing insults at him doesn't work, he just pushes back. Treating him as the typical Republican politico who will back down out of civility or for the greater good doesn't work because that is not what he does.

It's not that I support Trump. I just think you are attacking him in very stupid and amazingly ineffective ways.??
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.


NeoNote — Unstable people (and not who you think)

??Wish I could disagree. Fringe groups are always going to have more than their fair share of unstable people.

I'll just settle for saying “Not all lesbians.”

Now, see, I was going to make nice here and just touch on the subject.

As long as it's unpledged consenting adults, it's none of your business (or mine) who sleeps with who. You can call it abnormal if you wish, but only if you acknowledge that normality is a cultural condition that is subject to change. You want to talk about what is "good" for anyone, you are going to open up a warehouse of cans of worms that you are unprepared and unwilling to deal with.

As it happens, I've done the research and thinking. I've written about sex and examined how sex works in subcultures. And of course I've experimented.

I've come up with six sex rules. The first two are carved-in-stone unbreakable and easily solve 97% of sex problems in America today. Very little else about sex outside those six rules is either practical or enforceable. Long story short, in most cases your desire does not control another's choice. Your approval or disapproval doesn't matter as long as it is unpledged consenting adults.

Wow. "Fatherless children" but blame the women who sleep around.

It's a popular modern theory but people have been having sex "out of wedlock" for a long time. Far, far longer than the modern age.

Who defines what sex is abnormal? The classical Greeks encouraged homosexuality but discouraged oral sex. As I said before, normality is a cultural condition that is subject to change.

I didn't ask you to defend it because it's none of your business. If you want to talk about taking responsibility for choices, you and I would agree quite a bit. You want to talk controlling other's choices for their own good or the common good, we'll continue to disagree.

Because the problem isn't sex, it's excusing people from the consequences of their own actions. Even if it's done with the best of intentions.

Take that idea of "good." I've argued with people who tell me that all heterosexual intercourse is rape and that men should be emasculated. I've argued with people who told me that children should be introduced to sex no later than age nine. And I've argued with people who have told me very emphatically that a woman has no role beyond what her husband defines. None of this is "good" in my opinion. And yet that is all that it is, my opinion. The only real basis for "sexual morality" is choice and consequences. That's where my first sex rule comes from.

You're still emphasizing the actions of the woman more than the man when it comes to "fatherless children."

There's evidence that much of "pre-sexual" behavior is social or bonding. Things like touching, grooming, stroking. It's easy to conclude that actual sex is also includes bonding, and animal observations confirm this. Given some of the other functions of the organs involved, obviously something other than reproduction is going on. Insisting that sex is only about biological reproduction lets people ignore the social aspects.

Somehow you imply that it's women who "poison their sexuality" without addressing the behavior of men.

I've written against surgically modifying sexuality, particularly if the subject hasn't gone through puberty and their full growth. For adults, it is their body and their choice. As long as they pay their own money, I can't really object.

It seems that your secular consequences impact the female of the species much more. In my mind, that excuses the male from assuming responsibility.

I'm not "struggling" with the definition of good, I'm openly acknowledging that any such definition is going to be subjective.

You're removing sexual agency from women. That has all sorts of consequences. It also removes woman's responsibility for sex. Or much of anything really except maybe raising children. At the very least it's a waste of some fascinating people.

If reproduction was more important than the socialization, we probably wouldn't be using sex to reproduce. That bonding behavior is one cornerstone of human cultures everywhere.

I'm pagan. I don't hold Catholic or Christian definitions as particularly accurate. Especially considering human history and the rest of the natural world. Marriage is a solution, but it's not the solution. I don't think promiscuity is a problem, and it's certainly not something that society should "manage." Just as an obvious point, life long heterosexual marriage is not universal among human cultures.

A person's body is one of the very few things that is theirs. They were born with it, they live every day with it, and they will die with it. Take control of that away and you certainly diminish the person. Perhaps even enslave them. Now I may not approve of corporate logos tattooed on foreheads, or enough piercings to set off a metal detector at ten paces, but neither you or I have the authority to tell another adult "No." Anymore than they have the authority to demand that we have tattoos or piercings. We're not allowed to dictate another's hair style or color for good reason. It's their body and their choice.

Am I morally damaged? Interesting question. If I am, what of it? If I'm not, how would you tell? When it comes down to it, the only criteria that matters is how I touch the lives of others. That would be true of me (just as it is of you) no matter what my life experiences.

Of course words mean something. But words mean different things to different people. Words aren't absolute. "The word is not the thing. The map is not the territory." A conversation shouldn't be an echo chamber.

And the only sexual agency that a woman is allowed is virginity and chastity while men are mostly excused?

I'm pointing out that the socialization is at least as important as the reproduction. I'd add that if reproduction is the sole reason for sex, there would be a lot more kids and we wouldn't enjoy it as much.

Why must "all thinking forward beyond must be grounded in this biological reality about sex?" If people don't agree, do you intend to punish them? Why make this such an absolute?

I don't have a bias against Christianity. Tain't mine and that is usually enough. Problems do come when some Christians think and act as if their beliefs controlled everyone else's behavior. Tell me, if a choice is compelled, is it really a choice? If faith is required, is it really faith? If someone is forced, it is really their responsibility?

Ah, the body. If the body doesn't belong to someone, is their life really theirs?

Is it virtue if it isn't chosen?

I suppose it depends on what you call virtue. I serve veritas, I don't lie. I consider someone's word their bond and hold them to it. I stand between the weak and those who would prey on them. And sometimes I do the reluctant advocate when someone is not present or is unable to speak for themselves. No, I don't consider all the Christian virtues virtuous. But then, I don't see all the Hindu virtues as virtuous either. As such, I consider honor a higher calling than Christian righteousness.

Being bound by misinterpretations and misunderstandings makes failure likely. Wouldn't it be better to find what we share and build on that?

Before I continue, I sometimes use what I post on sites I visit as material for my own sites. I don't agree with much of what you say, but it is better reasoned than most. May I use your posts on this subject as well?

Responsibility, in it's simplest terms, means judging if the consequences are worth the payoff AND cleaning up your own mess. Or as I like to put it, one of the secrets of life.

Leave the World a little better than how you found it.

Now I'll agree that children should be raised with strong male and female influences. And I agree that the Ethic of Reciprocity (which Christians call the Golden Rule) is literally the keystone of Western Civilization. But beyond that, it's not anyone else's business.

I do think that sex should be between consenting adults. I might even be in favor of removing body parts of those who violate that. And I think if you promised to be someone's one and only, you're off limits to everyone. Those are my first two sex rules, so you knew that.

I'm not going to control someone else's sex life anymore than I will control their diet, the clothes they wear, or their religion. Once they are adult, it is their choice and their responsibility. I'd argue that is the essence of being an adult. In fact, I have.

"Who do my children marry in your world where bastards and rampant sexual promiscuity are just "someone's personal business"?"

Someone they choose and hopefully someone they can share happiness with. That's true no matter what the status of society or the @orld.

I seek the Divine in every woman I meet and certainly every one I've slept with. I celebrate sexuality. I doubt you believe that, but it is true.

Frankly when you forget that healthy societies are built on individual choice and individual responsibility rather than what a society requires, well, let's just say things won't go well.

As far as who cares, it's about honor. Promises made and promises kept. Honor is one of those silly things that I consider virtuous.

I'm not trying to control anything. I am advocating letting people make their own choices with responsibility. I'd argue that removing choice does more to control people than anything I do or say.

I understand why you feel the need to attack, but what have I done?

"They will not be able to share happiness with broken people who cannot keep their promises." I didn't ask them to and I didn't demand that of them.

"What is that sea of brokenness to you?" A chance for people to make the right choices while accepting responsibility. A chance for people to grow and show character. A place for honor to flourish even as it is tested.

I do not worship as you do, that does not mean I do not worship. Anymore than a Jew could accuse you of not worshipping because you do not keep Kosher law.

I'm going to point out that the most controlled societies are the most repressive societies and leave it at that.

I've given examples of my honor. It doesn't match yours obviously. But does that mean it's not honorable? Should your honor be judged on my terms? Why should mine be judged on yours?

All along I've stressed choice with responsibility. You can't have one without the other. What I disagree with is you or anyone limiting another's choice "for the greater good" or because they might make the "wrong" choice.

I come from a long line of farmers. I know hothouse flowers don't do well in the real world.

Since when did we have no bread?

Are you actually saying that unless your religion is imposed and enforced, there is no hope for the species? That people can't make the "right" choices unless all the "bad" choices are removed?

Boy, you really don't like other faiths, do you? What evidence do you have that all other worship is self-worship? Does that include the Christians you don't agree with?

As a rule, supporting oppression isn't going to lead to a healthy society. Not to mention it's effects on other little things, like freedom.

Who said I can't define honor? I already started with EoR and keeping one's word. Your problem is that I am not doing it in exactly the way you demand.

The thing is I'm responsible for me. I'm not responsible for you unless you try to control others. I've made that very clear.

Your definitions don't apply to anyone except you and those you agree with.

By removing people from situations where they choose and have to assume responsibility for those choices, you're turning them into hothouse flowers. You're making them less than fully human.

Hothouse plants don't do well without constant intervention. But perhaps that is your point.

I'd say that even today, there's plenty of bread. Other humans are under no obligation to produce the type and amount of bread you specify under the conditions you find acceptable.

Your truth, a truth, but not the truth. Those of us who aren't Christian get along fine, thanks for asking. Although we do resent it when certain folks tell us that we're living our lives wrong.

I advocate for many interests, I just don't place the ones you value over all others. I know it bothers you, I don't blame you for that.

"Inability to process complexity," that's a new one. I think maybe you should reconsider the difference between expertise and mastery.

"You cannot change a plant from one thing to another." Several thousand years of domestication and horticulture says otherwise.

Hiding humans away from the World isn't going to make them strong.

And you don't have the power to decide who will and will not have rights.

You can blame them, you can denounce them, you can call them evil personified, but you can't take away their rights.

Unless you want to sacrifice yours as well. Because the only way you can defend your rights is if you defend theirs. It's not freedom unless you share it.

You want to take away my rights, you are welcome to try. Until then, I'm going to use them. I promise that the effort will cost you much more than it will ever cost me.

Interesting how you've gone for no rights for the people you designate to no rights for people who you disagree with.

Deal with this if you dare.

Except for the date, there is no mention of any God in the U.S. Constitution. This was not an accident.

“The Constitution of the United States is a remarkable and unprecedented document. At the time, other documents establishing and defining governmental authority always used a god as the final and "Supreme Authority." But except for the date, there is no mention of Deity anywhere. In fact, the Constitution reserves the final and absolute power for the people. Despite the desperate wishes of some historical revisionists, the Declaration of Independence does not supersede the Constitution.

Why did they do it? Why did the Framers of the Constitution go out of the way NOT to acknowledge the Christian god, or indeed any god? They did it because they were among the best educated men of their time. The Framers knew their history. They knew about the English Civil War. They knew how some of the American Colonies required citizens to belong to a specific church, or at least to pay taxes to it. They knew that assumed moral certainty and governmental authority made a dangerous combination.

That doesn't mean that the Founders weren't men of faith. Most of them were, even the Deists. But they knew that faith had to be personal if it was to have any meaning at all. Otherwise religion becomes just another tyranny, forcing people to go through the motions without any reason of their own.

Matters of faith are a personal choice, they should never be public policy. Would you like me to tell you how to worship your god? Why should government have the power to dictate an individual's faith and practices?”

Hmm. Disqus ate my reply. Fortunately I keep records.

"A few thousand years of whose experience?"

Would those be Buddhist humans? Perhaps Shinto humans? I know! The Flappers from the 1920s!

*grins* By your standards, the Greeks didn't have sexual morality. Neither did the Romans.

Still haven't said anything about the Buddhist, Shinto, or the Flappers.

The Flappers were part of Sein's Lost Generation, a group looked at the time as nearly hopeless, yet produced some of the most influential people of the 20th Century. The Buddhists don't say much about promiscuity or homosexuality, although their monks were (and are) celibate. As for the Shinto, well, before the Meiji reformations in Japan things were "interesting."

My point is that your views on sexuality and morality aren't universal, even among Americans.??
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.



Stop insulting Americans just because they vote for someone you don’t like.
— Dan Crenshaw

Forgot to measure the animals

NAU researchers combine satellite data and modeling to predict climate change

??The discussion reveals that the grazing, predation and movement (among other activities) performed by animals of all types have important effects on the ecological nutrient movement and should therefore be included in ecosystem studies.

“Such zoogeochemical effects are not measured by current remote sensing, nor are they included in carbon cycle models. … This currently limits our ability to accurately calculate carbon budgets and predict future climate change,” the team wrote.

The discussion also suggests that the integration of animal spatial ecology, ecosystem modeling and remote sensing are needed to improve carbon cycle research. This methodology can also be used to predict how animals will react to changing climates and provide methods to preserve biodiversity.??
     — Kaitlin Olson

Oversized year change roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

Union Scum: Seasonal UPS Workers Had Paychecks Taken By Local Teamsters Chapter In Boston

Firm Who Warned America of ‘Russian Meddling’ Caught Running Fake Russia Bot Campaign

Liberal Donor Apologizes For Funding Group That Falsely Claimed Russians Supported Roy Moore In Alabama Senate Race

New Studies Show Pundits Are Wrong About Russian Social-Media Involvement in US Politics

Imagine if We Paid for Food like We Do Healthcare

How Should Facebook (and Twitter, and YouTube, and...) Decide What Speech To Allow?

The angry lawyer who went on a racist rant that went viral got kicked out of his office space — and his week is only getting worse

Angela Merkel: Nation States Must "Give Up Sovereignty" To New World Order

A year after net-neutrality’s repeal, the Internet is alive and well — and faster than ever

A Holiday Mystery: Why Did John Roberts Intervene in the Mueller Probe?

NY police say 'Muslim Community Patrol' car not sanctioned by them

New Documents Suggest The Steele Dossier Was A Deliberate Setup For Trump

Yellow Vests Becoming World Wide Movement

France: Year's 1st yellow vest event brings tear gas, fires

Eminent Domain: The Wall’s Other Problem

Must Writers Be Moral? Their Contracts May Require It

The New Congress and the Rolling Catastrophe of the US Body Politic

Fact check: What's a 'national emergency,' and can Trump declare one to get his wall?

Movies for Libertarians: Little Pink House

House Lawmakers Prepare Rollout Of Gun Control Proposal

Man Sells Junk Guns To Buy-Back Program, Buys New Gun With Cash

The Vaccination Debate

“Now—we have remarkable new information: a respected pro-vaccine medical expert used by the federal government to debunk the vaccine-autism link, says vaccines can cause autism after all. He claims he told that to government officials long ago, but they kept it secret.”

How Medicare For All Could Become the Leading Cause of Death In America

Ginsburg missing Supreme Court arguments for 1st time

Airport Security Lines Grow Across The Nation As TSA Sickout Continues


You see, I've done this before.

??You see, I've done this before. When True Believer Christians told me I was damned and a mortal threat to their children. When conservatives told me that only one way could save the country and anything else threatened their children. When progressives told me that capitalism and individualism were dead and should stay that way for the sake of the children. When well-fed third wave feminists in designer clothes told me about how they were oppressed by the patriarchy and wouldn't have children. When pagans lectured me on the evils of monotheism and how love would save the world. Always, always, ALWAYS the pattern is exactly the same. In the absence of understanding, triviality dominates. The enlightened demand sacrifice from everyone else. "For the children" is for those living and in charge. Anyone who offers an absolute won't brook dissent. Experts are uniquely qualified to fuck the situation up beyond any hope of repair. Government is not your friend.

So you have a chance here to change your behavior, change your pattern and accept responsibility. Your choice.??
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