Monday, October 1, 2018

In Which I Express Some Unpopular Opinions

I'm taking a huge risk by writing this post. I am going to be expressing, as the title indicates, some very unpopular opinions regarding the current #metoo hysteria and the Kavanaugh drama. Today's political climate has made it nearly impossible for me to express these opinions anywhere on social media simply because no matter how clear or concise my points are when I make them, there will always be those who take what I say to mean something completely different, or worse, those who take what I say and accuse ME of the very behavior of which I am speaking. That being said, I will no longer remain as silent as I have been on these issues, and so I've dusted off the old blog and have decided to express those unpopular opinions here.

This all started back in 2017 with the exposure of Harvey Weinstein and several other Hollywood personalities who had been comitting horrific sexual crimes against other Hollywood personalities for decades, and had worked together to either ignore the events, or actively cover them up. Weinstein was, after much drama and media attention, deservedly pilloried for his behavior when several Hollywood actresses, including Alyssa Milano, Gwenyth Paltrow, Rose McGowan, and reportedly dozens of others came forward and corroborated each other's stories regarding his behavior. Weinstein has since become Persona Non Grata in Hollywood and has faced indictment for criminal sexual assault charges, according to the Washington Post. With the revelation of Weinstein and other Hollywood personalities engaging in such behavior, a new movement arose, christened Me Too, whose original goal was to expose such behavior within Hollywood, and encourage solidarity between victims of sexual assault using the hashtag #metoo as a rallying cry.

It wasn't long before things began to spiral out of control within the ranks of Me Too. On February 10 of this year, the New York Post published an online article entitled "When the #metoo Movement Goes Too Far." Right away, I can see that some who read this may take the title of that article and immediately dismiss it as something it is not. Those who do, if any, ironically prove the actual points of this post.

We have forgotten, it seems, that allegations and accusations are not in and of themselves proof of wrong doing. In the age of social media, the court of public opinion appears to have taken precedence in the public mind over the court of law. In today's political climate, all it takes is for one person to accuse another of some form of sexual misconduct whether they have evdience or not. This has made itself known most prominently in the drama surrounding the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Most of you who are reading this are no doubt at least SOMEWHAT familiar with that particular news item, as it's been everywhere and everyone all over social media seems to have an opinion on the matter. The internet appears to be divided into two factions, for and against. Those who believe Kavanaugh's story claim that Ford's accusation is full of holes, and those who believe his accuser seem to typically default to the justification that we must, no matter what, believe survivors of sexual assault.

That, I think, more than anything is the crux of the matter. Being the horrific crime that it is, rape is seen as a crime that no one, supposedly, would ever lie about it. Ever. Unfortunately, the evidence for such false accusations is prominent and prevalent if you know where to look. For proof, we need only look back as far as the Duke University Lacrosse case. A decade ago, three players on the Duke University LaCrosse team were accused of raping a student. The details of the case are all over the internet but the long and short of it is that the players were eventually exonerated and it was found that due to misconduct and inconsistencies in the accuser's story, the players were innocent of the crime. Unfortunately the fallout from the accusations and the media frenzy regarding the case destroyed the reputations of the players in the eyes of the public. In addition to being accused of rape, they were branded racist, sexist, misogynist, and any number of other pejorative terms until the case finally fell off the radar years later.

Fast forward ten years to #metoo, and we see the same thing happening to others that happened to the Duke players. It has gotten so bad, in fact, that people who choose to defend those accused, whether that accusation is accurate or not, are absolutely pilloried for daring to suggest that there might be two sides to a story. Lena Dunham, for example, chose to defend a producer on her now-cancelled show "Girls" when he was accused, and the backlash was so severe that she was forced to apologize, even though she'd done nothing except dare to suggest that a man accused of a crime might be innocent of said crime. This brings me, after much long-winded commentary and setup, to my first unpopular opinion: The #metoo movment has become a twisted mutation of itself. It has grown so far beyond its initial intentions that now it doesn't matter if a person is guilty or innocent. If they are accused, they are to be shunned. Period. End of story. Guilty until proven innocent and sometimes not even then.

President Trump, a man who is no stranger to being accused of various wrongs by his detractors, has echoed these sentiments. From the New York Post:

“Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation,” Trump wrote. “Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused — life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?”

Many on the side of the #metoo movement do not want to answer that question, yet it must be answered. Whatever happened to due process? Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? When did it become okay to accuse ANYONE, man, woman, child, black, white, Asian, gay, straight, or what have you, of ANY sort of crime and pronounce them guilty without any evidence to support that fact? To hear the media tell it, it became okay the moment Brett Kavanaugh was nominated to the Supreme Court. People have pointed to his accuser's accusation as the main reason he shouldn't be confirmed, yet those individuals have either forgotten or were never aware that even well before Kavanaugh's nomination, the left was going to do everything they could to stop Trump from confirming another justice no matter WHO it was. When petitions came out declaring that the nominee "must be stopped" there was a blank space where the nominee's name would have been. ti was released apparently without being checked by an editor. For two months, well before the accusation came out, leftist politicians were calling for the American people to "stop Kavanaugh" by any means necessary. Which brings me to my second unpopular opinion: The reason Kavanaugh is undergoing such a hit job from the Democrats is because of one thing and one thing only: Abortion.

Kavanaugh's judicial record has placed him firmly in the Constitutional Constructionist camp. His Catholic upbringing has also squarely placed him as a pro-life judge. Kavanaugh being a pro-life judge means that it is very likely that, should the case be revisited, and should he be confirmed, the infamous Roe v. Wade court case could be overturned and abortion's legality left to the individual states. This and this alone is the real reason the left wants to stop Kavanaugh's confirmation. They don't want anything to happen to abortion as it now stands, and they've cloaked it in the usual "women's right ot her body" rhetoric that is always used to shame other pro-lifers into silence regarding this issue. two months ago that was all anyone wasy talking about. If Kavanaugh got confirmed we'd be thrust into a real life version of the Handmaid's Tale, and the only way to stop it was to #stopkavanaugh. This is patently untrue for various reasons. One, Kavanaugh by himself, whether on the Supreme Court or not, does not have the power to just magically decide to revisit Roe v. Wade. There is a process that must be adhered to, and will be adhered to. Arguments have to be made, the case has to be presented, the judges ALL have to confer, and only then would it come to a vote. The idea that Kavanaugh's confirmation to the court will just magically end Roe is ludicrous fearmongering, nothing more.

There. Now that that's out of the way I can make my third and final point: The drama surrounding Me Too and Kavanaugh has resulted in many on the right and in the middle wondering just how far is too far regarding accusations of sexual assault. Incidents like the Duke Lacrosse case have given rise to the idea that it is becoming dangerous for men to make sexual or flirtatious advances towards women for fear of those women coming back and accusing them of sexual misconduct or rape. Many people, men and women both, are speculating that because of incidents like Duke Lacrosse that even such things as innocuous as a look across the room or a flirtatious comment could be construed as "sexual misconduct." And you know what? I think they're right.With feminist activist bloggers declaring that the act of placing penis into vagina is "always rape" and  U.S. senators declaring that "men need to shut up", not to mention people profiting off of shirt with such lovely messages as "men are trash," I am inclined to believe the veracity of this claim.

This is why I am worried for the next generation of fathers, brothers, uncles, male cousins, and sons. I am worried that they will be entering into a world that hates them simply for being men. I am worried that the phrase "toxic masculinity" will become so prevalent in use that men EVERYWHERE will soon be ostracized simply for daring to have committed the crime of being born with a penis instead of a vagina. I am worried that a high school freshman who wants to ask a girl on a date will have to defned himself against false accusations of rape and misconduct years down the line and have his reputation destroyed as a result. That is what I worry about: a modern day Salem, Massachussetts with today's generation of men standing in place of the women who were accused of witchcraft.

There it is. Hate me if you want, unfriend me on Facebook if you want. It will say a lot more about those of you who do so than it will about me.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Mark Zuckerberg and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Decision to Limit Your Content Choices on Facebook

I am an avid follower of several different Conservative websites and news pages on the internet. Many other people are as well. Apparently this isn't sitting well with Mark Zuckerberg, founder of social media monolith Facebook. The Chicks on the Right, a site that I visit more often than most any other, have been covering this event for the last few days, and it's their reporting along with some newly acquired free time that allows me to give my take on the situation.

Zuckerburg's actual words can be read at one of the links above, but in a nutshell, he said that Facebook users would see less ad and news traffic (honestly, I could do without the ads) in order to allow people to see more personal posts from family and friends. Doesn't sound too bad on the surface, right? Well, let's think about what this means:

1. This means that Zuckerburg is intentionally changing Facebook's algorithms to manipulate YOUR content on YOUR facebook wall. What this also means is that you might not necessarily see political pages or news pages that you yourself have liked. I and many others have already experienced this turn of events. Heck, just take a look at the COTR Facebook thread on the issue, and you'll see that DOZENS of comments on that thread alone complain about having the page involuntarily unliked or unfollowed.

2. This already starting to affect Conservative aligned news sources, as Right Wing News publisher John Hawkins has already announced that his site will be shutting down because of these changes. According to him, Facebook was and is his primary method for getting his content out, and with these changes that will make it virtually impossible for him to continue as he has done since his site was founded. He isn't the only one, either. James O'Keefe, the modern day Woodward who brought down ACORN, has broken a story about Twitter admins actively "shadow banning" Conservatives and thus preventing people from seeing the content they put out. No word on whether or not anyone is shadow banning liberals. I'm not holding my breath on that, though.

Now, those being my two cents on the actual issue, there is some good news. Apparnetly there is a page that informs its readers just how to avoid missing posts you would like to see that come up on Facebook. Here's the link to it if you want to check for yourself.

That page will come in handy, but it doesn't change the fact that my account unfollowed the page without my knowledge, or even that the Chicks themselves had their own likes taken away FROM THEIR OWN BLOODY PAGE thanks to the new algorithm.

Here's hoping that Zuckerberg either feels the pressure and backs off, or that enough Conservatives are on Facebook to make this a moot issue. Either outcome would be perfectly all right with me.