“I Choose To Stand Because I Haven’t The Guts To Take A Knee” – (Patheos)

Today I came across a Patheos article (written by Shane Phipps and posted on his own Patheos platform) that seems a good follow-up to yesterdays post on the same subject.  It is essentially Shane’s reasons for choosing to stand during the national anthem, despite not really disagreeing with the protesters choice.

Here is a small excerpt from the piece.

I choose to stand for the National Anthem. I don’t have the guts to take a knee. I don’t want to face the repercussions of taking a knee. I don’t want to have to get into a confrontation over it. I have lived a privileged life to the extent that I haven’t had anything I’ve felt the personal need to protest. But, because of the lessons that I am learning about the message of those who choose to take a knee, I now feel some discomfort each and every time I stand, place my hand over my heart and face the flag. Every time I hear the National Anthem now, I am thinking about hurting people who feel let down by that flag–people with a wholly different American experience from me. I’m here to tell you that’s a good thing–that discomfort I am now feeling is a good thing. The reason those young men are kneeling isn’t to disrespect anyone. It is so that I will feel some discomfort as I stand. God bless them for that.

Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/shanephipps/2017/09/24/choose-stand-havent-guts-take-knee/#3p8jQKWkwe6aC5R3.99 

Posted in Opinion, Various Commentary | Leave a comment

Taking A Knee, And Missing The Point

The last few days have had the phenomenon of taking a knee explode, thanks to President Trump again running his beak without actually evaluating what is exiting his lips. Or to put it another way, standing up on his podium of white privilege and telling the blacks of the nation to Stand up and Shut up. Know your place.

A man that even Jim Jong Un has figured out how to fuck with manages to turn a majority within one of the most patriotic American civil institutions there is (organized sports) towards seemingly unpatriotic action . . .

I would say I am surprised. But that has ship sailed so long ago that it is LONG gone over the horizon. Just like the possibility of going an entire week without hearing about some other thing that 45 has managed to completely fuck up.

Either way, this past week has been filled with the unexpected. Not the unexpected in terms of the world of politics. More, the unexpected in terms of the loudest voices of pushback.
First, a late night funnyman ensured the demise of yet another idiotic and evil healthcare proposal. It’s amazing how they don’t even try to hide their psychopathy anymore.
Then it was an ESPN host doing what is right.

And now, a tide of support. And with it, a tide of pushback. Many are offended by the disrespect being shown toward the flag, and everything it stands for. Including the military.

I will showcase one such example that I came across here on WordPress.

Yes, things are not all fine and dandy with our country. But it’s not been a thing that has JUST happened. It’s been happening for many years. There is much room for improvement, corrections, and things to change. There is a need for things to change. But tell me please how your cowardly act of kneeling instead of standing makes a bit of difference? And yes, I do believe it is an act of cowardliness. You make millions playing a game that people watch. You have a platform to speak out and to make a difference. Stand up for what you believe in….

https://beyondthemoonlight.wordpress.com/2017/09/24/taking-a-knee/ 

First off, I want to say that I do not think that such action is cowardly. Such insinuates that the action is unpatriotic. And this protest is far from being unpatriotic.

The president, the leader of the United States of America as represented by the flag, is effectively attempting to use the position as a bully pulpit. All of those freedoms and such that patriotic Americans love do not mean ANYTHING to him. Even when you remove race from the equation, this is painfully obvious.

Given this, it can be said that taking a knee is one of the most patriotic things that one can do at this point. People would not feel any need to protest if they did not care about their country and all that it stands for.

It is true that flags and patriotism do not mean all that much to me. In a globalized and increasingly interconnected world, I tend to view the notion of  “America/Canada/Mexico/Britan/Germany First!” as an antiquated relic of a bygone era that slows our progress. And there is the simple fact that I am not an American citizen.

Despite this, I implore all to take a more detailed look at the situation. To those that are concerned about the notion of disrespecting the flag . . . Frankly, you are missing the point.

The protests are a direct reaction to the anti-American actions and rhetoric put forth by the president of the United States. The man that represents the United States, does not embrace its values.

In a nutshell, it is not the protesters that are disrespecting the flag and all it stands for. It is The President that is disrespecting the flag and all that it stands for.

Many would like to paint it as a simple matter of either being an anti-American protester or a patriotic American. While that is the typical rhetoric of a polarized nation, the real reality is much more grey.

Who wins if Patriotic Americans are so busy defending the flag that they fail to see the nation slipping away? What of the military sacrifices of members past and present then?

I had presviously used a photograph of a so called WW2 veteran on his knee, suposedly in support of the recent protest. I found out however that it may be a fake (source being Reddit, I believe). Thus I have removed it (though it is likley still visible on Twitter).

Posted in Opinion, Various Commentary | Leave a comment

Things That Anoy Me- Part 16

76.) Tragedy Of The Sheeple

I miss the days when it took more than getting fired over sharing a genuinely biased message to get attention from the public. You know, those days when you needed more than charisma in order to have your opinions on societies biggest problems taken seriously.

Back in my days as a child, the “You can’t believe everything you see on TV!” mantra was drilled into at least my brain.
But as an adult, I rarley (if ever) see the same stance being taught to children (let alone embraced by most anyone else!) in the context of social media and the internet. Which is a HUGE disservice to not only our children, but the whole of society itself. When in combination with things like content tayloring algrighyms, one can only HOPE that this huge educational gap is not resulting in to much mental anguish due to percieved confirmation bias (at the micro level), or enabling the whole sale destablization of whole societies (at the macro level).

But I suspect that we will continue to have this phenomenon of idiots in the spotlight (many cashing in on crowd sourcing, of course!) for as long as we do not teach people anything beyond HOW to use the internet.
Learning how to operate the machine is important. But since it is essentially the wild west of the 21st century, failing to warn people that some areas of the internet are akin to entering lawless southwestern towns a century ago is only asking for trouble.

77.) Christmas Creep

http://www.cbc.ca/news/move-over-pumpkin-spice-latte-safeway-offering-eggnog-in-september-1.4292312 

Aside from aiding and abetting the whole news advertising phenomenon of late (really CBC?!), we have another reason to hate capitalism.  I am not sure when this piece will be published, but yes, the date on the article is correct.

September. Late September, granted. But still . . . September.

Yeah, it’s everyone’s pet peeve.  The build-up to the ultimate mediocre event becomes more and more drawn out with each passing year. But to be fair to Empire (masters of Safeway and Sobeys in Canada), this is not the earliest I have seen Christmas deployed.  It was only a year or 2 ago that I saw brits mixed reactions to holiday shops opening in August, and Christmas cakes with expiration dates BEFORE Christmas itself. At least Safeway held out until Thanksgiving was at least in sight.

But I suppose it is official . . . that time of the year has officially arrived. That period between September and back to school, and New Years. Holiday hell.

For the retail worker writer of this blog, it means more traffic. More people (often with their obnoxious spawn in toe) gathering up every unhealthy and sugar-laden thing they can get their hands on, making an unholy mess that could rival Irma in their wake.  And as the holidays get closer (first Thanksgiving, then the hellish culmination that is Christmas), people will behave with less and less holiday cheer.

“Merry Christmas”? “Happy Holidays”?

More like “Go fuck yourself and get the fuck out of my way!”.

After Halloween is over, the remembrance day sheep will voice their disdain for stores and people that DARE to decorate in holiday garb before the sacred day that is remembrance day has passed. Though many of these poppy wearing twats will have no issue crowding stores and shops 1 second after 1pm. When they are legally allowed to reopen for business.

SHOW SOME RESPECT!

Just don’t fuck with my ability to buy bread, butter, or 10 cans of tomatos because they are a dollar. Those brave men and women DIED for our right to buy cheap tomatoes!

Once past the remebrance day mark, October and November eventually slide into December. The whole marketing machine will kick into high gear, once more.

The Christmas First brigade will make itself visible once more. Be it pins, Facebook memes and posts or some other way, they will shove the dick of Christ right into our societal holiday traditions. All the while claiming persecution and becoming triggered little snowflakes at the sight of a world taking a less THEM oriented stance in a multicultural world.

Its gonna be a blast.

I can’t wait for the holiday retail playlist to make its yearly appearance!

78.) Cries Of The Chronically Obsolete

http://business.financialpost.com/technology/gaming/pewdiepies-casual-racism-is-scary-but-even-more-terrifying-are-the-millions-of-fans-who-still-support-him

First off, I don’t give much of a shit about Pewdiepie, or the incident. Well, either this one or the previous one. The first one, where he paid for hire consultants to say something overtly racist (aparently just to see if they would actually do it). At least some did, as you probably guessed. And the 2ed incident being his calling someone that annoyed him in a video game session the N word (I heard the audio).

Given the context, its arguably not the first word that would come to mind. Maybe its common in his private group of companians, and slipped out in the public forum.
Shit happens. I am not going to play the part of the launguage police, tearing someone down just because of a lapse in judgement.
Particularly since the old gaurd of media is likley trawling though every terabyte of non-traditional popular content on youtube, looking for something else to villinize.

But now, the tactic changes. From trying to shame the source, to trying to shame the so called supporters.

The freedom of the Internet is fantastic and all, but there really is something to be said for the standards and controls enforced by traditional media.

We were all reminded of this again last week when YouTube star Felix Kjellberg – better known by his online handle, PewDiePie – let loose a nasty racial slur in a clip of him playing the popular online battle royale shooter PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. It was too harsh for publication in a family newspaper, but suffice to say it involved an F-bomb plus that most controversial of racial epithets. And it was brought on simply because he was having a hard time shooting a random player from a distance. He doesn’t even seem to notice what he’s said until a few seconds later, when his expression changes slightly and he adds, chuckling, “I don’t mean that in a bad way.” Whatever that means.

Whatever that means.

I could be wrong. But it sounds like an inside word from an internal group that accidently slipped out at the wrong time. In a way, even less pertinent than Bill Maher’s brush with the N word earlier this year.

But it was too late. It was out there. And social media did what it does in situations like this. The highest paid YouTuber of 2016 – he now has an estimated net worth of about $20 million – was raked over the coals by gamers and non-gamers alike, many of whom were already fed up with his questionable behaviour in past videos, including a post earlier this year in which viewers saw his reaction to a pair of men holding a sign with an anti-Semitic slogan (which eventually cost him a lucrative partnership with Disney). Already notorious within mainstream media, dozens of sites – including The Guardian, CBS, Wired, and Variety – reported on this latest outburst.

Imagine that. And I bet that none of them loaded the reports with advertisments, so as to prove that their agenda in this was purly selfless.

But it’s his fans that are perhaps the most troubling part of all of this. Despite his continued offences, Kjellberg’s subscriber numbers have grown by millions this year alone, now sitting well over 57 million. His channel still has the most subscribers of any on YouTube. And each new video he produces is still receiving millions of views. He continues to be, by any meaningful measure, YouTube’s biggest original star.

Its almost like many people don’t give a fuck about manufactured outrage. As if up and coming generations have less interest in the typical pablum formula that worked so well on the boomers that came before them.

Imagine that. Something else that the young have killed.

This tacit decision by millions of people to simply overlook his unacceptable behaviour is kind of terrifying – though perhaps not all that surprising, given the recent rise of far-right movements around the world. His subscribers can’t even use the separate-the-art-from-the-artist defence – as some have tried with writer Orson Scott Card and filmmaker Mel Gibson – because, in the case of Kjellberg, the art is the artist. What we see in his videos – especially videos of him simply playing a game – is not an act. It’s just Kjellberg being Kjellberg. People who still watch and support him despite his bigotry are implicitly buying into casual racism.

And as long as millions continue to do so, they won’t consider themselves outliers. The strength of numbers will make them confident that the rest of the world is just overreacting, making a big deal out of something that ought not be much of an issue. Put simply, Kjellberg’s legions of loyal fans are actively normalizing his behaviour.

First off, subscribers do not necessarily mean viewers. Many people have subscriptions to many channels that they may not even pay much attention to anymore. I did up until recently (I got fed up with them clogging up my feed).
As for the others, chances are they pay more attention to the litterally thousands of hours worth of video in which he is NOT casually racist. A bit like the millions of hours of television aired on various networks that accidently carried Janet Jacksons titty for a split second.

Normalization of this behavier? One can’t write off the concept, I supose. But I worry far more about President Trump doing that. Even the most prominent Youtube face dosen’t have THAT big of a platform.

Though he does still have viewership numbers that would make many traditional media company wet in the trousers.

So what’s to be done? Probably not much. YouTube has taken punitive action against Kjellberg in the past, removing him from Google Preferred and axing his original series Scare PewDiePie, but the online video giant is unlikely to go so far as to ban him.

Dare I say . . . GOOD!

First off, thanks for feeding into the Orwellian Free Speech hype machine. Its bad enough having whole cohorts droning on and on about a topic they don’t know FUCK ALL about in depth without shit like this only enabling them further.

To take the libratarian approach, Youtube COULD ban him if they wanted. Private ownership comes with that power.

But I would hope they woudn’t, because I leave the job of the deciders of content to the consumers. Its not like were dealing with David Duke. If people are that off put by it, they will go away. If not, then so be it.

As the top channel on the service, removing him would be akin to HBO cancelling Game of Thrones, or ESPN giving up Monday Night Football. It’s just not going to happen.

Thank goodness for capitalism!

And, despite his apology, it’s probably too much to ask that Kjellberg actually learns from his mistake this time and makes meaningful amends not just through a change in behaviour but also engaging in activism and awareness campaigns, as any good PR professional would surely recommend to him right about now.

So, engage in needless self promotion in the name of making amends for a slip of the tounge?

Why not.

More likely, we’ll simply need to continue to rely on the conscience of social media to keep tabs on him, and hope the message that antics like these are unacceptable slowly sinks in for those who continue to watch and support him. It’s a sad state of affairs, but it’s where we are.

I have my doubts that it will happen again. If it does, I still won’t care really.I will consider him to be one of the biggest dumbasses ever for getting caught in the same trap yet again.

But thats pretty much it. To me, he is irrelevant.

Does he hold views that I think a dangorous, however?

Yes.

One thing I will say . . . love the headphones.

That aside, THIS SHIT is far more dangorous than his casual rasism. I hesitate to label him a flat out climate denier because he never explicitly says it (climate skeptic?). But if I can watch this and come to that conclusion, its safe to say that many others will to. Which is a terrible use of this giant megaphone.

To wrap it up, the traditional media can play these games all they want. But we see though the smokescreen, and were not falling for it.

79.) I Hate Baby Boomers

There was once a time when my attitude was quite typical. If I were to list one generation as one that annoys me, I would more than likely have said millenials. Despite being one myself (on the head end of the group), I would have likley used the same reasonings as many older people do now. They are underachievers, they are overly distracted by technology, and they are to weak to sucseed. And they are KILLING many traditional forms of . . . everything!

From entertainment, to banking, to food and beverage.  Fucking kids, man!

So common is this attitude amoung the older generation that someone like Bill Maher can shit on millenials litterally at the drop of a dime. And no one bats an eyelash.

You can find it at the tail end of the following clip (5:25). Maher bringing up the so called fragile nature of the millenial generation. As though what amounts to a vocal minority in a hyper media saturated world is representative of an entire generational cohort. As though the VAST majority of millenials are not to busy struggling though daily peasant life to give much of a fuck if he or Milo douche canoe Yiannopoulos speak at Berkley.

This, coming from a man that claims that agism is the only acceptable form of bigotry and bias left in this era. Yeah, okay. Sorry for making you feel so triggered you fragile snowflake.
Or, very astute observation! Depending how you look at it.

Isn’t it nice to be a baby boomer that has made it? Isn’t it nice to have had your fun with the planet (to paraphrase him)?
Naturally, all that is left is to look down at the young people with disdain.

Maher is generally on the right side of things, to be fair. In fact, when it comes to the idiotic notion that is moving from this increasingly voletile planet to Mars (or somewhere beyond), he was pretty much the only person with a large platform that I seen come out AGAINST this. Credit where credit is due.

But, enough with shitting on the youngsters (be they millenials, or beyond). While a privilaged few may be making waves by taking various so called SJW ideologies WAY to the extreme, the vast majority don’t even have the option of higher education. They are stuck inhabbiting the broken econamy left for them by the previous generations excesses.

That is pretty much the story of every post boomer generation. Were stuck with what remains. The shitty service econamy with the lack of a living wage as a RULE, the pollution and increasing ecological degredation and instability. The scary fact that the world that our children (and US!) may see as a reality could well be VERY diffrent than the one that our predesessors abused and trashed.

Often completly oblivious to this enormous degree of destruction being left in their wake, these fat and stupid morons continue to talk down to the young, and post moronic shit like this all over social media.

 

To stupid to realize that they are freely doing the bidding of fossil fuel companies and glorifed petrol states like Saskatchewan and Alberta, they pollute our feeds and our brains with this shit.

I supose that I shoudn’t be surprised that a generation that grew up on a diet of one directional cable news would be so quick to spew without thought. But it is still unacceptable in an age where looking things up can be done with a simple tap or click.

Millenials used to annoy me. When I took my cues from people like Bill Maher, its no wonder I came to this conclusion! Everyday life is filled with examples of the typical millenial. And yet, everyday life is also filled with the typical entitled boomer. In fact, being in retail, I have noted that the millenials (and beyond) tend to be FAR more considerate than their elders. Unsurprisingly.

Why should an entitled ruling class give 2 shits about the peasants?

So yeah, there you have it. I have contempt for my elders, mostly Boomers. Their continued arrogance and refusal to give enen a LITTLE of the reins to the up and comers ticks me off. And I hope that future generations survive their unparalleled and continued assult on this cosmic rock that we call home.

George Carlin was right to call you assholes out. Bunch of fucking sellouts.

80.) Working Class Stupidity

Having grown up with a parent that was on social assistance by nesessity, I can assure you that our refrigerator and pantry NEVER EVER looked like that. In fact, both tend to be extremes. Though my fridge at current (and as a child) looks/looked more like the one on the right in the days before payday, its hardly a good indicator. If anything, it might tell us that this middle class family either has yet to go shopping, or does a lot of eating out. One of the first things Gail Vaz-Oxlade checks when helping a family with their finances is their refrigrator. Lots of condiments and little else tends to indicate that a lot of food money is allocated away from groceries.

Then again, this is hardly even worth going into indepth since those sharing this don’t put ANY thought into it.

I am reminded of an aquaintence complaining about not having much left of an around $80,000 a year salary because of taxes, expenses and other facts of life. You made a good life for yourself. You further ahead than likley millions of middle class Americans. So shut the fuck up and enjoy what you have.

The working classes assumption that it is the POOR that is fucking them is always a real hoot. It’s not those above you throwing your attention away from their antics by using essentially dog whistle tactics. Nope!

Nope!

It’s the poor. The poor that often would LOVE gainful employment, but instead settle for accepting whatever pittance they can get their hands on. All the while getting looked down upon, of course.

1.) If less money meant more stuff, then everyone would jump on the welfare train. Is that not logical?

2.) If you can compfortably own a $200,000 and up home, 2 vehicles, have 2 or more kids and have some cash left over for pleasure at the end of it all, I don’t feel sorry for you.

Workers of Canada and the world . . . stop being stupid parrots.

Posted in Things That Annoy Me | Leave a comment

“How “Free Exchange of Ideas” Naivety Limits Free Speech” – (Patheos)

Here is a small exert from a recent article that I found interesting. Though I have been questioning the effectiveness of the whole “open marketplace of ideas” for a while, this author takes it on from a very different perspective than I. That point of view being a typically oppressed racial minority in American society.

Far from abolishing limits in the arena of speech, however, the naivety of this view actually encourages, however unintentionally, an oppressive limiting of free expression.

Because this ideal of a naturally free and open exchange of ideas, in which the best ideas automatically rise to the top, ignores the fact that the real world is not an ideal flat surface. The real world has power imbalances. Good ideas do not naturally rise to the surface; in the real world, we often have to be fight to hear the most important voices, and it’s hard for them to be heard above the dominant voices that are constantly shutting them down.

For example: If you were an American slave in the 18th century, you would not have as much of a say regarding what went on in this country as a white landowner. Obviously. Now, the white landowners can talk about the free exchange of ideas all they want. The fact is that the exchange is not free. If you talk back to your master, you may be whipped or otherwise punished. If you try to express yourself through voting, you will be denied. If your master asks you, in front of his guests, whether you think you should be free, your response — if you want to stay in your powerful master’s good favor, is “No, sir. I’m happy here.”

It’s not an equal playing field. It took the bloodiest war in our history, the Civil War, to even remotely attempt to even out that discourse. Free speech was limited for the slave. And sure, you could disagree — but you wouldn’t be heard. Instantly, if you said “Yes, sir” the whites at the table might laugh at you or dismiss you, and say that you didn’t know what was good for you — after all, slavery was beneficial to the blacks, or so the lore went. And you would be demeaned and face negative consequences at the plantation.

Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/barrierbreaker/free-exchange-ideas-naivety-limits-free-speech/#L8erAWHOKqEpeFYZ.99

The essay goes much more into the details after this. It’s worth the read. The perspective is an interesting one, no matter the validity.

While I had not thought of the generations of bias argument as presented by the author, my problem with the so-called free marketplace of ideas was more in the lack of quality controls (for lack of a better way of putting it). To put it one way, being charismatic and camera-friendly goes a long way. Even a terrible (or debunked) idea can be made to sound damn good with the right representation. Otherwise known as, a huge chunk of so-called online intellectual content. Or as I called, pseudo-intellectual content. It’s hard to find anything BUT this at this point.

And another aspect to consider is the financial motive, as enabled by crowdsourcing. In a word, Patreon.

Many popular content producers of all stripes utilize (or rely on) the platforms as a source of income. And this is not always a trivial matter either. Dave Rubin (host of the popular Rubin Report) brings in just under $28,000 a month from just under 4,500 patrons (contributors). While I imagine that to be on the higher end of the spectrum, its a perfect illustration of the problem posed by money.

People like Dave Rubin claim to be open to anything and everything that comes their way. I will take them at their word since it’s hard to prove otherwise. Call it innocent until proven guilty.
I do have a concern, however. If an idea ever came along that end up uprooting the status quo that has been so good for them financially, would they openly admit it? Even at the cost of possibly losing the monthly windfall?

Indeed, it’s a difficult thing to consider. You can not really make accusations since the burden of proof is impossible on both sides of the coin. You can’t prove deception, and they can’t ever really DISPROVE it. Nothing short of the ability to read minds would enable that. So we must give the benefit of the doubt.
But at the same time, knowing how self-serving (and at times deceptive) humans can be, its a question that should not be ignored.

Something that came to mind last night (in relation to this topic) was money in politics. I was pondering which was worse. This, or money in politics.

In discussing this with a friend, I ended up concluding this to be worse, in a sense. Political donations are generally at arm’s length, so there is a bit of a buffer to self-interest. However, funding flowing (essentially) right into one’s bank account has no such buffers.
Money in the political system has more far-reaching consequences than moneyed free speech (for lack of a better descriptor). However, many wrong or harmful ideas can go a long way when they originate on a fairly popular and well utilized digital source. For example, the now infamously torn apart term Classical Liberalism. Despite seeing it effectively written off by more than one source, it still persists.

I guess I should note that I have highlighted what is technically 2 problems. One is lack of quality controls in terms of what ideas become mainstream. And the other being potential financial conflicts of interest of the loudest promoters of such ideas.

It’s a hard nut to crack, really. Had I not had an academic close by, I would never have realized that much of what passes for intellectualism online is trash (or close to it). Yet, most people don’t have the time (or the desire) to run everything they hear from an often trusted intellectual, though the ringer. In fact, the thought would not even occur to them, because the people they get the information from should know. Even I can’t really fault that attitude because that was essentially me 2 or 3 years ago.

What I can say however is that a good start comes in realizing that intellectual status does not necessarily guarantee that every idea or conclusion presented by said person is valid. Particularly if the person is speaking from outside their area of expertise (VERY common).

Do some digging with some creative search queries. The fanboy material is often overpowering when it comes to these guys, but other stuff is often available. Reddit (oddly enough) can be a good place to try.

A bit baffled and unsure what to think of much of anything you come across anymore?

Welcome to my world. Have a cookie.

Posted in Free Speech, Opinion | Leave a comment

“Howard Stern is having fun on-air…THEN 9/11 HAPPENS! – (Radio History)”

16 years ago today, the events of 9/11 rocked the world.

Many people in the years since revisit the event on its anniversary. In all honesty, I don’t even like using that word in this context (it’s unfitting for a word normally reserved for more positive defining events). But it is what it is.

Where were you when you heard the news? What were you doing? How did you react?

These questions are asked and answered by many. And they elicit responses from others, also reliving their stories on that day (particularly after social media became more embedded into the fabric of society). I have even done this in past years.

Typically I would share my somewhat comedic story of the goings on of that day. Of being in the 8th grade at the time, at school. Though I didn’t hear anything about it in the morning or on my lunch break (my school didn’t really have TV’s anywhere, and no one was home at my house at lunch time), I did learn of it during gym first thing in the afternoon. We were all sat down and the gym teacher explained how 2 747’s had impacted each tower of the World Trade Centre, leading to their eventual collapse. Slightly wrong information we know now (forgivable, given how little ANYONE knew on that day). And after that, classes went on.

At the time I was less impacted emotionally than I was a bit perplexed as to what the World Trade Centre even was. The whole of the afternoon, I wondered. Picturing in my mind (for some reason) a gigantic glass structure leaving mountains of glass piled in the streets of New York.

It was only when I was just barely a block from my house, that it suddenly hit me what the World Trade Centre was, because of an episode of the Simpsons (of all things). I remembered the episode in which the family goes to New York City in order for Homer to retrieve his car from the World Trade Centre, left there by Barney Gumble.

And then I realized the enormity of what had happened.

I quit participating in this ritual a few years back, however. Primarily due to an article posted by a facebook friend sometime around the 10 year after mark. The article essentially made the argument that despite the loss of life and infliction of fear and terror brought on by the events of 9/11, events afterward should serve to make us pause.

Although over 3000 people lost their lives that day, the death toll in the ensuing wars and conflicts has since WAY surpassed those losses. This is not even taking into consideration the enormous financial cost of these wars on the US. Nor the legitimacy of the wars, in some cases. Nor the blow back aspect (be it 9/11 as a reaction to prolonged American intervention, or the prolonged post 9/11 interventions serving to fuel more potential blow back against the US and its allies). Nor is the effect on everyday civilian life taken into consideration, due to the everlasting presence of seemingly ineffective protection programs like the TSA or the worldwide NSA intelligence dragnet.

On September 11th, 2001, many US civilians paid dearly. But in the years since, the coin has flipped. Though US citizens may have started out the victims in this scenario, it’s easy to see why that is far from the case now. Thus the argument is made that it is time to forget 9/11. It became (and remains!) the justification for countless overreactions and atrocities. It’s time to let it go.

I found myself in agreement. To a point, anyhow.

I did quit posting my 9/11 story on the date, and didn’t interact with any such posts. At this point, I don’t react to ANY breaking stories of terrorism, really (with the exception of some dark humor shared with a select audience).

But back to the initial track. Should 9/11 be forgotten?

No.

First off, it will not be anyway (let’s be realistic). It shouldn’t be anyway.

What should happen, however, is the letting go of it as a blanket justification for pretty much every middle eastern intervention at this point (notably, not involving any nation that actually contributed attackers to the 9/11 plot). At this point, all that we’re doing is enriching the military industrial complex as well as feeding into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Indiscriminate killing of middle eastern civilians (or arming governments that do) only serves to create more enemies of the state.

Of course, this is not the only issue going on in the middle east. The problems here existed long before 9/11. The region has long been dogged by outsiders drawing invisible international borders without actually taking populations into consideration. For example, if the Sunni and Shia don’t tend to get along, then it might not be a good idea to force them all into the same geographical area. Sure, a well-planted dictator can keep things under control. But take that cork out of the bottle, and things can get . . . interesting.

As they say, hindsight is 20/20. Some people’s foresight is also 20/20, but we tend not to listen to those people. But no matter what, we must sleep in the bed that we have made.

But I will move on.

It’s interesting to look back from 20 years on, to see what has transpired since. How society changed. The military angle. One of the most notable things for me, however, was the so called Truther movement. How pretty much every angle of 9/11 has since come into question by a certain cohort of the population.

I have responses to many of these so called questions. But today, I think it more interesting to take a look back.

There exists hours of footage of the news coverage of this day. But I happened across something far more interesting back in July (when this piece was first inspired but put aside until today). I found a recording of Howard Stern’s show September 11th, 2001 show.

Normally an amusing and comedic show (of which it was in the beginning), this episode turned on a dime. Howard and the crew (along with their callers) ended up becoming a fairly reputable source of information not just for NYC residents, but also for syndicated listeners all over the nation.
I like this episode because of the non-journalistic aspect of all involved. While being careful with what they said and with what information they dispersed, it’s interesting witnessing their reactions to the situation without the filter of journalistic professionalism present on pretty much all other coverage.
Not to say that such professionalism is not a good thing. It can just at times be hard for ordinary people (prone to ordinary reactions) to identify with.

Which is where the Stern show struck an interesting balance.

Hosted by a group of essentially every day people, you get their unfiltered real time reactions to the situation. Something it seems many identified with. Yet they also were careful to filter, to ensure they were not spreading misinformation or condoning reactionary actions.
Yes, there is overt bias and jingoism displayed by both hosts and callers into the show. Words were spoken that make me raise an eyebrow.

But I don’t judge the hosts or the callers to harshly. The context is in the heat of the moment. It was a traumatic moment for people everywhere, let alone those directly in Manhattan, all of which will be touched by this in some way.

And so, there you have it. Likely my final acknowledgement of 9/11.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Artificial Intelligence And “Human” Common Sense + Ethical Veganism

Today, I will again delve into the realm of Artificial Intelligence.  A response (rebuttal?) to an argument made by Sam Harris in one of his recent podcasts discussing (among other things) Artificial Intelligence with Kevin Kelly (here is some background).

Also, some Veganism stuff. It will come later, and it is related.

Fortunately, unlike the last article, I utilized for commentary  (written by one of the founders of Wired), Kevin (interestingly, founding editor of Wired) is not as sympathetic to the scare mongering as other notable names. Something I put in italics because despite many names being well-known contributors on the subject, even I question what exactly they are contributing.

Case in point:

 

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/896166762361704450

One thing I will say is that I didn’t think I would see the day when I would be in agreement with Mark Zuckerberg with much of anything. But it seems that this topic has made it happen.
In short, Mark thinks that Elon and the like are overreacting to the point of irresponsibility. Elon thinks that Mark . . . is not knowledgeable enough on the subject. Many Elon fanboys posted photos of ointment for Mark (he got BURNED!).
I put my hands to my face and shook my head.

Really Elon? THAT is the card you are going to play?

Don’t get me wrong, Mark and I still aren’t buds, this considered. Unlike the dystopian realities in the windscreen of folks like Sam Harris and Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg’s profit driven algorithm structures have helped to damage and divide nations the world over (and continue to do so). Indeed, The Facebook is not alone in this. But it was the trailblazer of the concept. And it appears to be doing little short of window-dressing to even acknowledge that a problem exists (let alone tackling it).

Either way, a feud between 2 rich techies that have WAY more intellectual influence than is merited is another subject altogether.

First, back to Sam Harris and the podcast.

He seems not as afraid of humanity being run over due to malice as he is of humanity being run over due to circumstance. Maybe these machines will become SO efficient in their replication that they will allocate ALL resources towards the purpose. Humanity will not be murdered but sacrificed to AI needs.

One of the first things that come to mind is, these people have GOT to pay more attention to the recent warning from Stephen Hawking. He gives the species 100 years (give or take) before the earth is . . . all washed up. To paraphrase George Carlin, a giant stinking ball of shit.

The Hawking warning comes to mind because his solution (we need to populate Mars or other planets) is questionable to me. Not just from a logistical point of view, but also from an ethical point of view. We know that humans will more than likely screw up any planet we ever inhabit eventually, so it is ethical to keep the process going?

My ethics angle to this question would not be taken well by a great many people (let alone agreed upon). The only person I did get an answer from seemed to default to it being automatically ethical if it enables continued human growth. That seems like a bit of a cop out to me. But it is what it is.
Either way, the only well-known voice to come out against this planetary Brexit movement seemed to be Bill Maher, outlining his reasons in the prologue of his earth day 2017 show. Many of which I am more or less in agreement with.

We know the general reasons why Stephan Hawking, Elon Musk, and others want to get us off of earth and into supposedly better places. It ranges between something cool to accomplish, and we have no choice. But to focus on the latter (or Hawking) side of the issue, what drove us to that point in the first place?

A myriad of factors really would be a nuanced answer. To get right to the point, ourselves. We did it to ourselves.

There are multiple reasons to explore. Climate change, plastic pollution permeation, loss of biodiversity  . . . pick your poison. While all are generally drastically different issues, they are all rooted in the same ideology. Human (and later, corporate) growth. While our history is littered with this behavior, it would not culminate until our discovery and subsequent incorporation of fossil fuels into everyday life.

It could be said that this time in history presented humanity with a forked path and a stark choice. Proceed forward with this new technology with care and caution to possible ramifications, or go all in. It seems the humans of the time didn’t see (or choose to ignore) the possible future risks, and fully embraced and incorporated it into societies world wide. The same can be said for any number of technological revolutions that ended up turning into disasters in their own right. From asbestos to DDT, to plastic, to BPA.

Humans are not good at the long game. And really, humans have never been good with the long game. Unfortunately, unlike when there were too few of us to do too much damage, that dynamic has changed now. Not only are our staggering numbers ALONE a strain on the biosphere, all of our modern innovations only add to the mess.

Plastic and other trash now make up a layer of our very own creation, both on the surface and the bottom of the oceans. Large cargo vessels and tankers (along with seismic oil and gas exploration) in the very same oceans now have raised the background noise levels in the ocean exponentially, in every ocean. There is literally no part of the ocean that we can not be seen or heard.

Our industrialization period has forever changed whole continents. From forests and wetlands to farmland and concrete. Drive from Winnipeg, Manitoba to Key Largo, Florida, and you will see pretty much the same thing. An endless expanse of farmland or concrete. Drive from Winnipeg to Vancouver, and you will see more or less the same thing.  But for where the landscape made breaking impractical or impossible, it’s human controlled.

Over a single century (or half a century, really), humans have burned and contributed millions of years worth of carbon into the atmosphere. A rate of increase that far surpasses pretty much any other past event. We still don’t know what all the long term effects of this massive glut of CO2 will be, but all credible contributors agree that it will NOT be pretty. Today’s flooding storm surge is tomorrows baseline sea level. At MINIMUM.

Then there is space. We have now launched into orbit and abandoned enough junk for it to now be a legitimate problem with people and equipment operating in the great unknown. And our fingerprints are not just in near earth orbit. We also have left stuff behind on the moon. And we have shot some vehicles out even further into the solar system, destined to end up who knows where.

It seems that no matter what endless expanse of empty space that humans come into contact with, they find a way to clutter it up. A recent example of this, and a problem of urbanites everywhere (whether they realize it or not) is wifi interference and overlap. A few years back, few would even think about this since wifi was still in its infancy. But now, with more wireless devices than ever before in our possession and every ISP selling and renting routers to service these devices, the carrying capacity of the available spectrum is often filled to capacity, if that capacity can even be reached.
Networks and devices sharing a channel can more or less traffic one another for airtime (with the lag increasing according to active devices in the area on that channel). However, traffic on adjacent channels is seen as noise, hindering (if not entirely drowning out) wifi activity. Imagine trying to have a conversation in a crowded room. The louder the background din gets, the louder everyone else gets.
Since these ISP issued routers often set up shop anywhere on the 2.4ghz spectrum (not just on the recommended channels 1, 6 or 11), there is often lots of overlap. Which causes noise levels that actively reduce the already finite amount of bandwidth available to area devices.

Indeed, a first world problem and more of an inconvenience than anything (unless all the radiation from the wireless devices is considered, anyway). But it is yet another perfect example of humans managing to again completely clutter up a seemingly endless expanse to due unplanned and largely unregulated embrace of new technology.

Someone like Sam Harris could use this argument in the context of Artificial Intelligence (our total and complete embrace of largely untested technology have not always ended well). However, I have doubts that many got that far since dystopian fear of AI tends to write the whole issue off.

It’s not that the machines will one day turn on us either. It is more, the machines will become so efficient in replication that they will develop methods to essentially utilize ALL resources towards that goal. Such resources may include us, or all that we rely upon.

An example given is an AI robot that has only one goal . . . to create paperclips. All it does is hone and fine tunes the art of creation of the paperclip. The perceived risk is that this AI robot may become so good and efficient that it may develop ways to turn literally ANYTHING into paperclips. Yes, including us and all that we hold dear.

Indeed, the example isn’t the best (it needed to be dumbed down for a layman, but really?! Paperclips?!). But it gets the job done.

Either way, due to this fear, Harris figures it necessary that so called Human Common Sense is programmed into these machines, so as to ensure this result is not realized. On one hand, it can’t hurt.
But on the other hand . . . human common sense?!
To STOP the machines from consuming and destroying everything in sight, all for the goal of endless replication?

HUMAN common sense is going to achieve that?

To put it short and sweet, if humans had common sense, people like Stephen Hawking would not be telling the world that the species NEEDS to find a new planet. Really, one could even go as far as saying that common sense dictates the exact opposite of Hawkings wishes. Let this bad strain remain isolated to one planet.

One could say that. It’s certainly an interesting usage of the topic of ethics. Which is more unethical?

Keeping humanity on one planet, for better or worse? Or allowing humanity to spread out in the universe?

Either way, suffice to say, I am highly critical of the notion that our so called common sense is of any use to AI robots and bots. In my mind, the only difference between AI gone wrong and humanity is how they spread . . . reproduction VS replication. We’re certainly not a good example, as far as stewards of the earth are concerned.

But this is not all to slam the notion. More to highlight the arrogance of insisting that the obviously flawed (if not flat out non-existent) common sense of humans is an important trait for future AI technology. If anything, that seems as though it could go WAY in the other direction. Being the direction we are headed at current, it seems a wager worth betting on.

That said, however, it is not all bad. The benefit of knowing one’s own flaws is in fact, knowing one’s own flaws. We can ensure to program these problems out to the best of our ability.

Figuring out goals for future AI is not an unreasonable conversation, however. This is an important conversation to have, even though people like Elon Musk like to disrupt it. Seemingly based on a strawman.
The machines are coming . . . and eventually, they will TAKE OVER OUR LIVES! Not scared? Well, CLEARLY you have not given this much thought!

But enough about arrogant fools with a giant platform. You get the point. This frame of mind is harmful to the conversation, not helpful.

Since humans are in the driver’s seat, it seems apparent that those in charge will design and program these things not just to be benign to humanity, but also to be helpful. How exactly that would work obviously remains to be seen. But it seems, dare I say, common sense.
Fine, maybe not. It is more the conclusion that one comes to when they use the past behavior of humans as a predictor of future outcomes. Humans are selfish and self-serving creatures, utilizing pretty much every resource we have available to us towards this goal. It seems apparent then that new technology birthed by us would follow this same pattern. Be it conscious, sentient, or not.

I have to be careful here, I admit. I don’t have a good grasp on either consciousness OR sentience, so I have to be careful in my usage of the terms. Although from what I see, few (if anyone) in the Artificial Intelligence conversation have made much headway on that front either.

To go back where I essentially left off (what could AI mean for us?), it could go many ways. I explored this a bit in a previous post on the subject, but I have even more to add now.

One should not just assume that AI will be inherently our enemy, or could become so due to some unforeseen development or update (to use a technical term). It can’t and shouldn’t be ruled out. But ending the conversation here is akin to throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

Humanity is good at developing tools. It’s how we got as far as we did today, and it’s what will drive whatever future we have left. So rather than viewing what is essentially our future technological development as a foe, we should try and see it as a tool. Something that has the potential of introducing a whole new level of intellectual prowess to both humanities biggest problems and enigmas (let alone desires).

The first thing that comes to mind is something from my other piece on AI, which was pondering whether or not so called UFO’s and extraterrestrials were a form of AI, developed by some other life form elsewhere. Looking back, I wrote that piece under the assumption that these beings must have run over their creators in order to reach the high that they obviously did technologically. I was taking cues from Sam Harris, in that it was a previous episode of the Waking Up podcast that inspired my thoughts on the piece.

Despite starting there, however, it occurs to me that annihilation of the AI’s origin species is not necessary. Rather, the super developed Artificial Intelligence may, in fact, serve as a tool for them. A tool that accomplishes feats that may not otherwise ever be possible. For example, the ability to explore far beyond whatever their observable universe is. Not to mention possibly enabling these origin species to come for the ride.

Looking closer to home to the problems facing the future of humanity and the earth itself, this is another area where AI could be of more help than harm. For example, reversing climate change by developing a way to scrub (and put to use!) excess carbon in the atmosphere. Or developing viable means of scrubbing plastic pollution of all sizes and types from the worlds oceanic gyres (and again, finding a use for it). If the intelligence potential is close to (if not) infinite beyond so called singularity, then so too are the possibilities.

But even Artificial Intelligence that is on our side is not beyond issue, even if it is just as perceived by us.

One example is our current habits of resource consumption (among other things). We currently WAY overconsume what is available to us, to the point of taking from future generations. Every year, an article is released at about this time of year (August) telling us that we’re past that point. Before the back to school and holiday rushes have even begun! Either way, it will not take long for Artificial Intelligence to detect this, and obviously, follow the problem all the way to its conclusion (bye bye Homo sapiens!).
If a part of their programming or goal is the safety of the species, they could either recommend drastic action or just force it upon us. Essentially, for the good of the collective that is humanity, all may be forced into a more limited life of consumption than they are used to.

Or to up the ante a few notches, let’s consider the overpopulation conundrum.

At current, our population is WAY beyond the static carrying capacity of the planet. But it doesn’t much matter (at least in the short term) due to fossil fuels and other technologies extending the carrying capacity. We already know this house of cards will eventually topple, so of course, the machines will also know this.

Again, the AI does the calculations and concludes that without a meager to drastic reduction in either births or population numbers, the species is in trouble. Our numbers are either close to or beyond the maximum allowable for the survival of the species, so something has to be done to keep extinction at bay.

Disallowing children, despite being its own hot potato, is arguably the lesser solution (when compared to being forced to essentially cull the herd).
On that note . . . imagine either being a decider of that group, or of having to accept the AI’s decision on the matter. No matter how you slice it, things will not be pretty. People will (rightfully really) hate and fear the machines.

And yet, at its core, is the well-being of the origin species. Humanity has proven unwilling to face the biggest decisions even at the expense of its own survival. So if some external force (or intelligence) has to do it for us, is this really a bad thing?

Interestingly, questions and scenarios like this (brought to my mind by topics like Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles, and Veganism, oddly enough) have fundamentally changed my view of ethics and morality.

For example, the idea of some machine mandating or forcing a moratorium on human population growth (or worse, a cull of the population) would be seen as automatically evil (and thus immoral and unethical) by many, no matter what the circumstances. Even if the reasons are based on cold hard logic (too many people = too much resource consumption = No (or very few) people).
As for Veganism (since it can also be tied to this conversation, oddly enough), a common argument for is pain and suffering. This is more often than not buttressed by the terrible status quo that is mass factory farming in the US and elsewhere. There is a climate change component as well. But it’s primarily based on animal welfare.

My answer to that is to assert that the choice to (or not to) eat meat has little to do with ethics. Even though the status quo is far from optimal, it does not have to be and could be changed. In fact, compared to the suffering endured by the prey of many other species, humans have developed much less painful methods of slaughter. Though humans do not have to eat meat, we evolved (like many other animals) with such protein in our diets. As such, it’s hardly unethical to engage in what is as natural an activity as drinking water. One can use the climate change argument to attach ethics to the conversation. But even that is a stretch since something as normal as driving a car or heating (and cooling) your house could be turned on you. Not to mention that nuts and kale also have to be transported to market (and we’re not running EV transport trucks yet. Though I doubt their debut is far down the road).

If anything, framing this on ethics and morality (people who eat meat are unethical and immoral!) is doing damage to the cause of Veganism. Aside from inviting people like me to retort their rhetoric (a minority), it turns people off (the majority). While it may be seen as an excuse or burying one’s head in the sand, how exactly is that helping the afflicted animals? It’s not.

If anything, using the ethics and morality arguments to back a Vegan stance is unethical and immoral. If the tactics employed are resulting in a net negative in terms of action taken towards helping afflicted animals, then I don’t think it a ridiculous statement. It’s just an observation.

Here is another observation. PETA is inherently anti-Vegan.
I didn’t think I would ever find myself reading that sentence (let alone writing it).

One may wonder where that came from. How a piece about Artifical Intelligence ended up criticising Veganism. The answer is in ethics and morality. Or more, as I alluded to earlier, my fundamental change in acknowledgment of the 2 concepts.

Both are fluid, no 2 people have the same ethics and morals. Most tend to be very human centric (dare I say, self-serving) to the point of being irrational. As such, they are not inherent.

In a recent conversation, I was asked essentially what would happen if some alien race rounded us all up for some nefarious purpose. Would that be ethical?

The first thing that came to mind was, what does it matter? Like the many people that died at the hands of Adolf Hitler and other crazed leaders, I’m sure that those people saw the actions of the hierarchy as being unethical. Didn’t do them much good though, did it?

Now that I have triggered many into thinking that I am a crazed psychopath, I shall explain myself. I am not a psychopath.

Just a psychopath on demand. In a way.

I don’t walk around treating everything and everyone like shit. I have an ethical/moral code that I follow. If anything, I think that my ethical and moral code would rival that of many of the people that I just triggered. It’s a consequence of being overly analytical of almost every aspect of life. When you see more, the often thoughtless ethical infractions of the faceless populace become crystal clear.

Either way, I think that about wraps this up. Feel free to comment below if you have something to say.

Posted in All Things Tech, Artificial Intelligence & Such, Opinion | Leave a comment

“The Catholic Church Says Some Child Abuse Victims Gave “Consent” When Assaulted” – (Patheos)

Today in the stories that are sure to piss you off, we have this one out of Britan, reported on by The Friendly Atheist Hemant Mehta.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority is the UK government agency that, among other things, compensates victims of child abuse and sexual assault with taxpayer-funded money. But last month, the Sunday Telegraph reported that some of the children who had filed claims had been rejected because they supposedly gave “consent” before being assaulted.

That sounds awful. And when you hear the stories, it gets even worse

I don’t doubt it.

One case highlighted by [non-profit group] Victim Support involved a 12-year-old girl who was plied with alcohol, led into the woods and sexually assaulted by a 21-year-old man.

Despite the fact that the man pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 13, the victim was denied compensation.

This was because she had gone into the woods “voluntarily”, had not been a victim of violence, she emerged “happily” from the woods and that she had recently had sexual relations with another child around her own age.

You have got to be kidding me.

All of that is truly despicable. Of course this child was a victim. She was a child. Her outward demeanor throughout the ordeal is irrelevant. And her story was only one of many.

Enter the Catholic Church.

Oh dear god. What ungodly thing has that anti-Christian abomination gotten itself into NOW . . .

It turns out CICA is working with the Church to compensate victims of child abuse at the hands of priests. It’s unclear to me if taxpayer money is being used for this (and if so, why), but the same kind of stories are now turning up.

I really hope it is not the UK taxpayers paying for the diddling of the unholy scum. Because if that were the case . . . #InvadeTheVatican .

I said it before. And I will more than likely say it again.

One claimant was told by lawyers for the Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark that his abuse, which included rape and began when he was 15, “actually occurred in the context of a consensual relationship (albeit one the Claimant in retrospect now appears to regret)”.

The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told this newspaper that the use of the defence felt “insulting”. “I was below the legal age of consent anyway and there’s a grooming element to that kind of situation. It was totally disregarded and it made me feel really small,” he said.

Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2017/08/21/the-catholic-church-says-some-child-abuse-victims-gave-consent-when-assaulted/#iqd2oWBRpRBLb6Vj.99

No kidding.

It is less a defense than it is another method of covering up the madness, all the while letting the perpetrator get off Scott free.

#InvadeTheVatican

Both he and another victim who was told she “consented” pushed back against the charges. They eventually won their appeals and received compensation. But it’s truly disturbing that CICA was using this argument at all. If the victims hadn’t fought back in court, they would have received nothing.

Church officials offered mild sympathy in a sanitized statement to the press:

In a statement, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Southwark said that “out of respect for each claimant’s privacy and the confidentiality of the legal process, the Archdiocese does not comment on individual case“, but added that it “supports the right of anyone who has suffered harm to seek compensation. Such claims are complex and often involve a number of difficult legal issues.

Good for the victims for pushing the issue, and getting what is rightfully theirs. But I wonder about those that may not have had the strength (or means) to take on the challenge legally.

It also makes me wonder if the organization in charge of financial compensation of these cases has been corrupted. Indeed, it involves wearing some tinfoil. But if the church is willing to pay money to make many past cases of abuse go away, is it really that much of a leap to accuse it of buying off some of those in charge of holding it accountable?

This largely hinges on who is actually footing the bill, of course. If the taxpayers, then it’s hardly necessary. If the church itself, however . . .

Fuck it!

#InvadeTheVatican

There is often complexity in sexual assault cases. But when the victim is underage, the issue of whether or not they consented isn’t complicated. They didn’t. End of story.

Since 2012, The Independent reports, CICA has rejected payment claims to approximately 700 alleged victims of child abuse. It’s safe to assume they weren’t all rejected for the same awful reason, but we only know about these “consent” cases because non-profits working on the victims’ behalf brought them to the public’s attention.

How many more don’t we know about?

I think you could more than likely at the minimum, double the number. Cumulatively for the whole of the UK anyhow. And who really knows how high the number will go if you start adding up all the closet cases world wide.

What we see here seems to be nothing more than business as usual for the Catholic church. One of the least Christ like institutions there is. In more ways than one.

But there is a fitting way to end this piece. Can you guess what it is? You are right.

#InvadeTheVatican

In conclusion, I may as well end on a high note.

Posted in Opinion, Religion & Atheism, Social Issues | Leave a comment