Archive for the ‘Social Commentary’ Category

By R.C. Seely

ONE OF THE WAYS THAT Republicans and Democrats are noticably similar is their misunderstanding about free speech. Both seem to think it is like a river that flows only one direction and ways their way only.

That’s why they get baffled by some Libertarians (such as myself) who adamantly defend the opposing views, believing we agree with them. Just because I stand behind a person’s right to say stupid and even downright offensive opinions doesn’t mean I agree.

I find racism and bigotry just as disgusting as progressives do, but the only thing worse is any form of legal action against it. That’s why I question the legitimacy of Hate Crime laws, for example. Such legal standards divert the focus from the merits of the criminal act and places on the personal attitudes of the suspect. Their attitudes are relevant for motives in the crime but it should not be the focal point. In civil case that maybe more acceptable, but not in a criminal one.

The most recent example of this political dictomony which I’m referring to, look at the case of the Christian baker who was asked to “bake the damn cake” for a gay couple.

The Supreme Court did the right thing and ruled in the baker’s favor. This left a few people angry, one was actor Andrew Garfield who publicly commented his dissatisfaction with the results. He’s not entirely wrong but he’s also not right.

I don’t think the baker was right–morally or from a sensible business standpoint. Turning down any customer, based on their lifestyle or any immaterial choices like that has business risks that should be carefully considered. Word of mouth is so important in the information age and if you deny services for such reasons everyone will hear about and there will be consequences. But that is how freedom of association works.

The belief that an organization needs to be punished by big government is where Garfield and those who think like him are wrong. The consumer will punish them, by not supporting them with their patronage and spreading the word through social media. Since the consumer generally comments the complaints more than the kudos, it’s a fair conclusion to make that others will be kept in the know.

This defending only the singular perspective is common and not simply isolated to homosexuality. Gun rights ends up being an “Us versus Them” senario, as does, drug prohibitions, abortion and immigration. While in gun control, drug prohibitions, and abortion, I disagree with any legislative intervention, immigration does have a sort of compromise.

Increasing worker visas for immigrants would solve so many immigration issues, but this passionate reactionaryism prevents that. With immigration the progressives take an absurd stance trying to appease both their union base and immigrants, failing miserably to satisfy even reality. Unions members are afraid of immigrants “taking their jobs” and that creates the stalemate on that side. Republicans are right in their dislike for unions, even though they agree with them in this case.

You might be asking yourself what do gun rights, drugs, abortion and immigration have to do with free speech? The baker turning away a customer is a clear demonstration of free speech but how does an immigrant being denied a job play into the discussion?

Legislative action is either a defense or denial of the voter’s views–it’s the practical real life application of your opinion. Whenever a prohibition of any kind is introduced it’s an inhibition of someone’s free speech. Basically you’re building a dam against a real discussion. Gun control, the war on drugs and the current immigration system are all restrictions of free speech, which are neither practical or working effectively. Before building a dam–or a wall–the other options should be up for debate. That way genuine free speech, not only your view is protected.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture with new book–Confused Yet? Understanding the Utterly Incomprehensible–soon to be released.

By R.C. Seely

IS OBEDIENCE TO a bad law moral? Or what about defience to a leader asking you to do an immoral command? We all know that issues of moralty can be difficult, as they should be, but are indoctrinating conformity when that’s the more harmful decision? I think the answer is a clear yes and always have felt that way. And I’m not alone in this. Ira Challeff the founder of the International Leadership Association’s Followership Learning Community and has studied the topic giving his take in his book Intelligent Disobedience. In the text he gave multiple examples of times when the inclination to obey has wrong and fatal, and other times when disobedience saved lives.

We know that many of the worst atrocities have been justified because the perpetrators were simply “doing their jobs” but what of those who didn’t obey because it wasn’t the right course of action.

Challeff talks about a young nurse who attended one of his lectures of her experience with Intelligence Disobedience. It was shortly after getting out of nursing school and she was assisting a cardiac patient in the ER. She was ordered by the emergency room physician to administer a medication that was questionable. After she objected, she was given the typical response from an authority figure to “just do it.” Her final response was:

“I hooked up the IV bag to the patient, and… injected the medication… ordered into the bag. Then I called the doctor over and told him the medication was ready to be administered. All that was needed was to open the valve on the IV bag, but that… violated my training. He would need to open the valve himself.”

Should the nurse have done what she were told, simply because her superior told her to? In this case it might have killed patient and her actions got the doctor to reconsider the treatment and the patient lived. If things had ended differently, there would have been a review and she would have to defend that act of insubordination. That is an admitted heavy weight which needs to be countered against your confidence in what your doing is right.

Challeff offers this as the simplest test of whether disobedience is valid: “Based on the information we have and the context in which the order is given, if obeying is likely to produce more harm than good, disobeying is the right move, at least until we have further clarified the situation and the order.”

We shouldn’t disobey because of power struggles. Challeff has his own experience with that in the dentist chair when a defient nurse kept second guessing him in front of Challeff and kept drilling the tooth getting a cavity taken care of. The end result was the tooth was damaged from the treatment and required more repair. Disobedience because ego satisify this definition.

Another example was the children who were told not “to leave the room for any reason” while their working mother had to give a speech at a work conference. The building caught fire and if the children had obeyed the would have perished. Or the commercial flight that wouldn’t have crashed if the co-pilot had been more insistent in his concerns. The investigation’s assessment even found his disobedience would have been the right choice.

Law enforcement and military are not immune to these issues either. Because of the power and extended legislative immunity they hold, it makes it even more important. The pressure to stay compliant is even more rigorous than for civilians but lives are on the line. It’s important to remember that as a police officer or soldier you face a tribunal for wrong doing. Military is extremely efficient at accountability too, law enforcement needs work.

Most occupations have watchdog groups keeping an eye out for misconduct. It makes society safer for the most part, but even they are not infallible. They are created and filled with flawed humans acting as our advocates, and occasionally they fall short. Maybe someone will come up with a perfect system but I doubt it. In the mean time we will have to settle for what we have and at times practice the Intelligent Disobedience to expose the flaws in that system.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture and has new book–Confused Yet?: Understanding the Utterly Incomprehensible soon to be released.

By R.C. Seely

IS BURGER KING THE king of burgers? Hard to say since the Burger industry has so many choices. And the king has decided to go social activists rather than focus on their product.

Starting with a misleading video on Net Neutrality, the chain now introduced an anti-bullying PSA.

Now what’s wrong with that? You might be asking. It could be nothing, but it gives the impression that they care more about social justice than their customers.

Take the new ad, they have teen actors pretend to bully another teen and send their customers “bullied” burgers, and record the reactions. Will the customers be more upset about the burgers or the bullied? If it were me, I’d be furious that they care more about catering to activists than to paying customers.

I don’t go to Burger King often, so losing my business would be imperceptible to their bottom line but that they value their customers, so little is troubling. Especially when the market has so many options and burgers, are not their only competition. Fast food and restaurants are a demonstration of the success possible in the free market.

If examined, there are probably already signs of distress within the company because this. Keep in mind this merely speculation on my part.

Besides the willingness to dismiss their customers, the causes they are advancing, and the marketing campaigns are baffling. So far, Net Neutrality and bullying are their causes. And both campaigns have issues; the Net Neutrality one is blatantly wrong in their analogy and the bullying one is inviting a lawsuit.

Either they don’t understand Net Neutrality, or they are on the wrong side. To do their concept accurately it would have to be, the customers getting more than the asked for. Net Neutrality using their burger analogy would be the customer orders a a burger and they are served the burger and a chicken sandwich, fries, a chocolate shake, a dessert and everything else off the menu. Or they never get the burger at all and only get everything else that you don’t want.

As for the other ad, I’m confused exactly what they were expecting the customers in their establishment to do. Verbally confront the “bullies?” But what if the patrons turned violent on the actors? That’s not even all that unlikely given how passionately people have gotten on the issue. Or worse what if one of the patrons were armed? Is the little impromptu theater worth the life of one of these actors? It’s not the patrons’ responsibility to make and keep a safe environment, it’s the business owners.

However you look at it, this idea by Burger King management is asking for trouble, starting with that it appears both ads are online only. The chain could have put these ads online and on TV, a plan that would make more sense. Maybe it’s just my skeptical nature, but when things don’t add up, it generally is because of the worst case scenario. In this case, I suspect they are trying to reach a specific demographic, the youth. Those passionate youth, that will cause “the next social revolution” and won’t question these causes. Can we just get the fries and hold the social justice, please?

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has written books on pop culture and has an upcoming new release–Confused Yet?: Understanding the Utterly Incomprehensible.

By R.C. Seely

AS PERPLEXED AS I GET from Democrats who vehemently hate Trump or the Hollywood Republicans that continually dismiss his faltering there is a group that confuses me more than both combined. The Hollywood Republicans who hate Trump. Most of them seem confused on the Republican part.

The two most noteworthy are Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Both are confused about guns in the party platform. Stallone calling for an all-out ban that makes Michael Moore sound reasonable. He adopted this attitude shortly after the death of Phil Hartman. Arnold’s not much better but has a far less benevolent justification saying he’s a “peace loving kind of guy.” If that’s true, then start by leaving us gun owners alone.

This is not the only issue the “Terminator” is confused on, he’s also a hard-core environmentalist. And he’s eager to take on the oil companies with full force. He charges that the oil companies are intentionally and without regards “killing people all over the world” by providing manipulated data on environmental change, and he’s determined to take them to court currently meeting with private law firms.

From The Hill:

“Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) is planning to sue oil companies, alleging they are ‘knowingly killing people all over the world.’

‘This is no different from the smoking issue. The tobacco industry knew for years and years and years and decades that smoking would kill people, would harm people and create cancer, and were hiding that fact from the people and denied it. Then eventually they were taken to court and had to pay hundreds of millions of dollars because of that,’ Schwarzenegger, a global environmental activist, said.

‘The oil companies knew from 1959 on, they did their own study that there would be global warming happening because of fossil fuels, and on top of it that it would be risky for people’s lives, that it would kill.’

Schwarzenegger accused oil companies of being irresponsible and vowed to go after them.

‘It’s absolutely irresponsible to know that your product is killing people and not have a warning label on it, like tobacco,’ he said.

‘Every gas station on it, every car should have a warning label on it, every product that has fossil fuels should have a warning label on it.’

He said he hopes to spread awareness about the harmful effects of fossil fuels.

‘I don’t think there’s any difference: If you walk into a room and you know you’re going to kill someone, it’s first-degree murder,’ he said during the interview.

‘I think it’s the same thing with the oil companies.’ “

I don’t put stake on the opinions of celebrities when it comes to the issues anyways but this idea of “labeling all fossil fuel” consuming products and taking out companies is particularly absurd. That will cost them massive amounts of money in a pointless Kabuki theater for egotistical means.

Schwarzenegger may believe what he claims or he’s simply trying to get attention, I don’t really care his goals, I do care that if he succeeds this will cost the consumer at the gas pumps. I care that he’s not using his influence to privatize the energy market, giving the consumer better access to alternative fuels. Getting rid of the federal subsidies on energy would force them to listen to the consumer and start manufacturing products that are more environmental friendly. Because that’s what the consumer demands.

When Trump cut the funding for social services–Meals on Wheels and after school programs–Schwarzenegger stepped up and started his own charity program to aid them, I applaud him for that. But why not do that for other issues he feels passionately about?

Instead he would rather side with the environmental activists and Trump haters. Parroting the “Russians make him say certain things” and condemning his failure to call out racists after the Charlottesville shooting.

Trump and Schwarzenegger have been having a very public feud for quite a while now on Twitter. It’s covered both men’s shortcomings, and both have had bruised egos. It makes sense that Schwarzenegger is holding a grudge but get over it and start researching.

He derides Trump if he wants to bring back more coal mines that it would be detrimental to the since it’s “dirty energy.” Actually, it’s not, and majority of our energy is coal. Our energy sector is based on a system that utilizes fossil fuels, changing that takes time and money, a cost that taxpayers shouldn’t have to burden. Environmental activists are the ones concerned, they should be the ones to take the burden. The “warning signs” of environmental calamity have been going off for hundreds of years, there’s no excuse for letting it reach critical.

The Republican Party is supposed to be about limiting government, not limiting personal choices. While the party has a history of faltering on that, the stances these two Hollywood “Republicans” have taken are even worse. They don’t understand the consequences of what they propose. What they want will hurt people and leave them less safe. It hurts those that haven’t done anything wrong, takes away their choices and makes them further subservient to federal government.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has written books on pop culture and has a new upcoming release–Confused Yet?: Understanding the Utterly Incomprehensible.

By R.C. Seely

ONE TERM THAT IS A favorite one amongst collectivists is “human rights.” It’s a term further advanced by the United Nations “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” initiated by Eleanor Roosevelt, a former U.N. member. Problem is “human rights” don’t exist and those rights in question are either “natural rights” or free market products and services that they are trying to claim for their agenda of control.

That aside, there is the question of efficiency as well. The legislative actions of those in power have given valid cause of concern.

One such question is the concerns with health care. Should health care be conducted as a free market concern or government one.

I have had limited need for health care services at this stage in my life but have seen the differences when being there for family members. This is the observations I’ve made with health care: primary care is altogether superior to hospital care. It’s easy to see why too. You are treated as an individual, not a number. You have to set an appointment, you’re generally in faster and given more personal care.

Keep in mind this is not an indictment of the service providers but the nature of the business. The service providers I think do care and it’s not they who are not at fault. The business side of hospitals is inefficient and similar to the assembly line. Your done and on to the next one. It’s also not to say that hospitals are bad or unnecessary, emergency care is a needed social service–it could be provided in a better manner though.

Why is this relevant? Because big government pushes out the primary care competition. If they had their way all medical care would be done at the hospital. That would be a bad thing! Prices for services would go up exponentially and quality of care would be atrocious. Think the soup kitchen lines during the great depression.

The U.N. has even made it a goal to indoctrinate the children to misunderstand human rights by including educational materials, so they “understand” human rights and their importance. The most important thing we can do with human rights is avoid them.

We have something better, we have “natural rights.” The right to speak our minds, believe what we want, defend our selves in the manner we decide and private property rights and all not by an authority figure. Even the United States Constitution doesn’t grant its citizens it’s right but simply defines those rights.

Other concerns are dealt with by consumer discretion. Through boycotts, word of mouth and online ratings; the world is far more efficient and safe than any federal consumer protection agency or health and human services could employ.

Before we give the United Nations full governing power in our daily lives–the environment, gun rights, free speech, health care, foreign policy, etc.–the cost of adopting “human rights” over “natural rights” should be examined.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has written books on pop culture with an upcoming new release–Confused Yet?: Understanding the Utterly Incomprehensible.

By R.C. Seely

WE HAVE TO DO IT, IT’S “for the kids.” We have to continue the War on Drugs, “for the kids.” We have to pass gun control, “for the kids.” We have to enforce EPA regulations, “for the kids.” We have to go to war, “for the kids.” We have stop internet porn, “for the kids.” We have to empower NAMBLA, “for the kids.”… Okay that last one could be a little far-fetched, but I think you see my point. We have to pass all these laws and give up all our rights, “for the kids.” This could be some of the most disturbing and gross manipulative emotional and psychological tactics utilized by activists. And clearly, it’s used by moralists on both sides, Republican and Democrats alike.

The worst I’ve seen is the rampant manipulation of the children prior to the Parkland shooting, especially of David Hogg. I don’t know if the shooting is his only intention or not, and it doesn’t really matter. Either way, Hogg is being used by the gun control activists. He’s still a minor and easily swayed by emotional arguments rather than logical–as we all are when we are younger.

This is not to say he doesn’t have arguments that should be ignored, he has an opinion and he’s entitled to it and to speak freely. It doesn’t mean action should be done because of it. He’s scared and believes stricter gun control is the right course, I doubt he’s read up on the information that discredits that. Before a few months ago, he probably didn’t read anything other than his textbooks. And his biggest concerns were his acne and the girl (or maybe boy) in the row in front of him.

Another activist, Emma Gonzalez, is a different matter, even before the shooting she was an activist for gay rights and started the Never Again movement in response to the shooting. Just what the world needs, another emotional activist, getting her ego fed. I’ll bet these two loved their kudos from Oprah. Yea! You’re a winner!

The mantra during this has been there’s an “epidemic of gun violence” in the US. An epidemic! The numbers reported killed by guns–even if you include the leading cause, which are suicides, according to the CDC study–are in the low thousands. The population of the US is 300 million–what epidemic? How can you possibly be so heartless as to belittle these children? They suffered such a tragedy and are scared? It’s not only gun control activists that are scared after a shooting, it’s gun owners and gun rights activists that are and rightly so.

For that short period after a tragedy, activists will use anything and anyone for their agenda. Children become emotional pawns in the game because they act before they think. It makes them perfect spokesmen for political action. Calls for gun control, for example, are at an all time high after a shooting but return to normal a couple of months later, that leaves a short window for gun grabbers. Having the children out campaigning for it makes it all the more difficult to say no.

The children activists are basically the political version of the temper tantrums at the grocery store for not getting their favorite cereal. It’s okay to tell them no.

While the focus of this writing has been on gun control, this despicable tactic has been effectively used to advance many other goals, many noted at the beginning paragraph. It’s effective in getting prohibitions passed because we have an innate primordial instinct to protect children, even they are not related to us in any way. That makes it an evolutionary Achilles heel, but if you want to protect the children, protect their rights not attempt to protect them from their rights.

The world isn’t perfect and complete security is an unobtainable utopian dream, things happen, some good some tragic, but making your children safe won’t be accomplished by giving into fear or emotional blackmail. That’s the best thing you can do “for the kids.”

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has written books on pop culture and has new upcoming book–Confused Yet?: Understanding the Utterly Incomprehensible–soon to be released.

By R.C. Seely

WITH SO MUCH COMMUNICATION being online and not in person, misunderstanding have become common. This is especially true with online dating when people feel particularly vulnerable. It has gotten better with the advent of emojis–digital symbols that are representative analogues of the human face–but the problems haven’t gone away entirely.

Why is this? Well, mostly it has to do with those who didn’t grow up with the internet still adapting to it. Many of us older millennials–in our mid to late thirties–haven’t fully altered to the digital communication exchanges and treat them as a regular exchange. Even talking on the phone has a lesser chance for misunderstanding since a verbal tone is present.

Another factor is that we have increased interaction with others who are basically strangers, from all over the world. Using a platform with less cues to gather information about the intention of the other person, we are more on guard than in a physically present discussion. Body language comes into play to tell us what is on the others mind, so we can react.

So, what’s the solution? Trust everyone online? No, definitely not. There are plenty of sexual predators and con artists on the internet, so protecting yourself is important, just maybe learn to be better at online interaction.

Misunderstandings are generally on both sides so consider how you may have contributed to it. Were you to eager to make a judgement on the other person? Did you get too personal too soon in the discussion? If you wouldn’t share the information about yourself on a first date, you probably shouldn’t in your first online discourse either. Learn to read online cues and don’t get frustrated, it gets easier. As in real life, it could also be the timing.

Online dating sites have made measures to assist you in staying safe. After all, in the information age a bad review or rating has more clout than word of mouth. It teaches more consumers a lot faster, so keeping visitors safe is a top priority. Look through their suggestions. Most of all remember what you’re there for, if you joined a dating site, treat it like such. It’s not a social site like Facebook, it’s for meeting people. Don’t get upset at others when they want to meet up.

I’m not suggesting blind trust but what author Stephen M. R. Covey (son of Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) calls “Smart Trust,” the concept a certain amount of trust is appropriate. If you start out with distrust for others that’s what you will get in return. So, give them the benefit of the doubt until they give you a valid reason not to trust them. In regard to online interaction, where you can simply “block” or “unfriend” anyone, this should definitely be put in practice.

A meme that I found is a fitting description of what dating has become:

So many good women have dealt with the wrong man and so many good men have dealt with the wrong woman that by the time you to finally meet, you‘re both afraid of each other.”

 

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books of pop culture the most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available at Amazon.