Rejecting Guilt By Association

Regardless of what mortals you follow, adore, admire, and pay homage you will at some point disagree with them.  Whether it’s most of the time or almost never, no one will ever hold exactly all the viewpoints that you have come to cherish.

A tweet from Milo Yiannapolous prompted the above line of thought in which he voices disagreement with libertarians on the NSA spying incident – color my libertarian tendencies irked.

Obviously, he is mistaken, as his his later tweet about Snowden being a traitor and not a hero.   I’m also above reproach in my conclusion. 

Today, the internet echo-chamber or “communities” as we call them is often bereft of any actual substance in discussion when it comes to disagreement over just about anything.  Dissenters are labeled “concern trolls” or just “trolls” in general.   In fact the word, “troll” has lost it’s meaning because of the abuse of the term.

Throw in “safe-spaces” and this takes on a whole new layer of people who immediately dismiss anything that comes from an opposing side.   If you make the mistake of identifying with a label that is considered “bad” or triggering, everything you say is immediately dismissed – regardless of the validity of what you say.

We need to start judging statements, comments, and opinions based on what they actually are –  the merit and validity of them – instead of who said them.    Whether they come from a radical liberal feminist or a neo-con warhawk, it shouldn’t matter; we need to reject guilt by association.

Encountering the “Other Side”

Take for example Cindy Brandt’s site/blog which I recently came across and her post, “You Don’t Need To Tell Me You Don’t Agree.”   She actually makes alot of good points, despite certain… social justice affiliations.

Well, I don’t agree.   Okay, I couldn’t resist.  Take a look at this specific observation:

“Which one of us agrees on everything with any other single person? No one! Certainly, many of us share similar passions and congregate according to common interests, it’s only human to interact with those who you resonate easily with. But if you dig deeper, or you spend enough time together, it isn’t long before one discovers there are indeed some, if not many points of disagreements with those we are in relationship with.”

As she points out, no one will  ever agree on everything, but with today’s identity politics and culture its often either all or nothing.  If someone doesn’t share enough “similar” passions, interests, and convictions,  chances are that most people won’t give anything they say the time of day.   This is more likely if they know about your “opinions” and affiliations before they evaluate what you’ve actually said.

“If we are honest with ourselves, adding the phrase is a form of social insurance. We want to protect ourselves from the risk of being associated with certain things this person represents. “

It certainly is a form of social insurance, but why?

People seem conditioned to pre-judge and make assumptions based on labels and what they “represent”, so what choice is there but to adjust? Unfortunately, this is the reality of where we are at.  It rather sucks that these qualifiers are needed, but can anyone point to topics of conversation where they aren’t?

The risk of being associated with someone who is deemed a racist, bigot, homophobe, ect or any other culturally deemed demagogues can be cause for your employment to be revoked. Consider Razib Khan who was initially hired by the New York Times, but then let go because of his “association” with right-wing publications who were deemed to be mired in racism.    So much for diversity of opinion right?

Whoever was working here must have spilled this paint...
Whoever was working here must have spilled this paint…

Shockingly, the fact that he isn’t even white was enough to save him from the wrath of social justice warriors who usually excuse certain people from terrible actions, deeds, and statements based purely on their genetics.  Another mighty journalism giant bows before Gawker and SJWs.    Apparently, all you need to do is label someone a racist enough to make them suffer the effects of today’s modern heresy.

For instance, Cindy describes herself as “social justice-y” on the side bar of her site.  GASP!

Someone, pull the alarm.   Danger is near.

  My spidey sense is tingling.

Now a large amount of people will probably dismiss anything she has to say because of the affiliation with social justice.  Don’t make that mistake; don’t fall prey to guilt by association.  I  may fall to this ever constant trap subconsciously, but then force myself to read what is actually state.  Some exceptions are made for Tumblr…

I strongly disagree with almost everything  modern day social justice folks advocate – what normal sane person wouldn’t – but I won’t necessarily dismiss something because of who is advocating it.

“We can dialogue with people as people, other human beings with different personalities, life experiences, and ideas. We can celebrate common ground without erecting walls or drawing boundary lines. We can connect without disclaimers, embracing the whole of our conversation partner along with her ideas. Let’s base our conversations with one another from a place of shared humanity instead of basing it on fear by association. “

Is this really possible? Can we connect without disclaimers? I don’t think we can.

Tales From The Online Crypt

I recently encountered and “argued” with some conservatives on TheRightScoop about the subject of police abuse.   Obviously, they deny this is a real problem.  In order to even get them to look at anything I have to say, I had to utter the following disclaimer, “I’m not a democrat…”

This is of course true, but if I didn’t point this out, said conservatives would assume I’m some sort of liberal because I disagree with one of their viewpoints.

Behold, the current state of online discourse.

If you disagree with someone on an issue you are immediately considered to be a follower of the opposing “side”.   If you disagree with some of the trash on the Huffington Post, you are a right-wing bigot, ect, ect, ect.   If you take issue with something on Breitbart you are left-wing marxist, socialist, ect, ect, ect.    Qualifiers are absolutely necessary.

“The power of association, of tribes, of communities, is so strong that we take extra measures to ensure boundaries are clearly marked, compelling us to insert disclaimers even in casual conversation. We are so fearful of being grouped with the “wrong” crowd as perceived by the person we are speaking with.

I do not think this is a healthy way to dialogue. I think it is a sign of disrespect to curate someone’s ideas, extracting it from their whole selves with all of their complexities and personhood.”

She is right; it’s not a healthy way to dialogue.   Yes, we must consider the context of a person – if that makes sense –  which is necessary to fully understand their ideas and why they have them. However, in today’s charged, “guilt by association” culture, you absolutely have to introduce qualifiers into the conversation or anything you say will be dismissed based on you supposedly are.

The need for safe spaces...
The need for safe spaces…

One popular “Debate” tactic is Godwin’s law.   To sum that up, it means that you equate a certain argument, idea, or even person to Hitler.  This of course invalidates anything they have to say.  Or does it?

Just because Hitler said something, doesn’t qualify it as being incorrect – such as his radical environmentalism, state control of “healthcare”, ect.   In fact, I’m sure almost everyone today holds some positions that Hitler advocated on economics, state control and power, and the environment.

Color me shocked.

This time-held tactic is “guilt by association/wrong by association” and is employed by disingenuous teenagers, tumblrites, and many adults who want to shout down others based on who they are, rather then what they’ve said on extremely important blogs and websites where their comments clearly make a difference.


Don’t be one of “those” people.

People who engage in daily displays on their Facebook feeds in guilt by association tactics usually have something in common;  they are angry, upset, and jaded.

Their life is a never ending stream of  un-fulfilled selfies, self-loathing, and vicious attacks on anyone who looks like they wallowed in depression for weeks upon end.   All of these bitter people online have one goal in mind; if they can’t be happy – neither can you.

Go outside of your bubble and live.

It’s been said that you can’t argue with certain people, and that is true. Argument however shouldn’t be the goal of every interaction.  You don’t need to “win”.    All you need to do is engage, discuss, and see if any new seeds are planted in either your mind or your “opponent.”   In order to any of that, you must reject guilt by association.

Perhaps, you may just develop a relationship with someone where you don’t need qualifiers, but you must take the initiative to do just that.

I encourage all to go out and have face-to-face conversations with people you know you disagree with. You will be surprised at what happens when both of you or others involved have a conversation that isn’t based on “convincing” anyone of a particular point, but is focused on the exchange of ideas and worldviews.

This is how you grow and become a more rounded individual.

 It is one of the first steps in today’s vicious culture in becoming a renaissance man.

Reject guilt by association.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished – Opinionated Man

The Beauty of An Actual Diverse Community

Opinionated Man a.k.a. Jason Cushman over at HarshReality is what one could consider a powerblogger of sorts – whatever that term even means anymore.   He actually may be addicted to blogging to the annoyance of his wife.   Over time, he has used his site to promote other WordPress bloggers as well as to promote community interaction between all of us.

In particular, his WordPress Meet & Greet threads for bloggers have been fantastic and he has featured a weekly number of “Guest Posts” written by just about anybody who has come across his site – usually commentors and people who frequent the site.

I’ve written a few guest posts and enjoyed how it let me reach a wider audience with thoughts – I’m sure other guest posters have had the same feeling.    What I now realize is just how invaluable these guests posts are.  Jason isn’t a particularly political, controversial, or culture war type of blogger – though he’s written a few controversial posts.

This has attracted a community that is actually “diverse” and not in the artificial corporate  and blogosphere buzzword sense.   Your thoughts, posts, and ideas will actually be either critiqued, analyzed, and discussed by a group of people with all sorts of opinions.

Think about how significant and rare that it is.

Most blogging communities are echo-chambers in and of to themselves.  Dissenting commentors are labeled trolls and anyone who critiques the groupthink just a bit too much is ousted.  Actual dialogue is usually impossible because of the way dissenting opinions and the people who express them handle the internet.

This results in “safe-spaces” that are subconsciously and indirectly created – often through disabling comments all together or moderating them to an extreme fashion that the only people who frequent are the one’s who agree with essentially everything that is said.

These communities then usually rehash the same sort of crap.  Once in a while, they say something crazy enough to go viral to get page-clicks, and then go back to the intellectual and conversation deprived vacuum.    HarshReality’s community allowed you to actually talk with people outside of the usual echo-chambers and that is becoming harder and harder every day.

Places Where The Best Conversations Occur...
Places Where The Best Conversations Occur…

Something I noticed a few months back was that most of the conversations that took place – even where there was noticeable disagreements – were very amiable.  Jason isn’t big on censorship and comment moderation – so that makes the level of cordial discussion that too place even more surprising.

We may be about to miss that.

Well, Jason’s good deed of promoting and enabling a community was taken advantage of – possibly by a detractor – though we may never know.  Someone used his “Guest Post” feature to post “stolen” material.  I’m still not sure if it was copyrighted or not, but it did get attention and a warning from WordPress:


As the individual who agreed to the Terms of Service contract when activating WordAds, you are responsible for all content posted on your blog and subsequent Terms of Service violations.

It is far more than just those three. From the notes left by the investigators, I’d say probably the entire Guest Blogger Posts category is suspect.

The investigators re-evaluate rejected applications monthly. If they find absolutely no copied content after a much more thorough re-evaluation, they may re-approve your application. If they find even more copied content, they will likely permanently ban your application.



Now Jason’s  guest post system worked pretty well.   Bloggers who wanted to create a guest post would email him, he would briefly check it, and then post it later in the day.   Pretty simple and effective.

Perhaps maybe too simple, but time constraints are a thing and Jason often posted things by his phone and WP’s format isn’t exactly the greatest via cell phone.  For now, these are Jason’s parting words:

“I talk to everyone via email before they guest blog. I am not sure how what happened, happened… but either way it did. I got played.

My wife wants me to stop blogging. I have considered it. I don’t make a lot of money at my normal 40 hour job and blogging was my release… and possibly a way to chase a dream. Perhaps writing will need to take a rain check for now.

Be careful out there. HarsH ReaLiTy will be closed for a bit. Enjoy the articles, that were ALL written by me, and the free promotional posts.

Jason C. Cushman

-Opinionated Man”

If Jason does leave us, who will pick up his mantle? I don’t have alot of hope, but you never know.  One thing is for sure – they can’t be a control freak on a power trip – which limits our options on the internet severely.

#RaceTogether And Have Your Reputation Destroyed

Prepare Your Smartphones For War

#RaceTogether is a minefield filled with short-tempered caffeine deprived customers who consider the concept of patience to be hate-speech rather then a virtue.   Then throw in some barbed wired and machine gun nests known as the smart-phone.

Every one has a smart phone these days that can record any conversation – a blessing and a curse.   It’s a foregone conclusion that any actual honest dialogue can take place between groups of extremely racially sensitive people.   Your words are a tweet away from being broadcast to the dark corners of tumblr dwelling other-kins and SJWs who haven’t forget that people with dissenting opinions are actual humans.   Davis Aurini makes a good point about this:

That is just the obvious hindrance.  The actual primary problem is that people view this entire idea as less of a conversation and more of a, “I’m mad at your kind of people for these reasons,” lecture.   Actual dialogue on a subject so controversial can’t take place in any public setting as you could lose your job.

In fact, it doesn’t actually matter if you are what society considers to be a “racist” or any one of the “ists” these days.   Once accused in the public eye – or rather the social media feed – you are guilty until proven innocent which means you are forever guilty on a basic Google search.

Caffeine Deprived Intruders Are On Their Way.
Caffeine Deprived Intruders Are On Their Way.

The Poor Baristas…

Let’s think about the Baristas for just a second.  Not only does #RaceTogether fulfill that old joke about SJWs at liberal arts colleges becoming Baristas, it adds a particular new explosive compound for angry uptight customers to get free beverages and add further misery to the idea of “customer service.”

Perhaps Schultz has been preparing his guinea pigs for these kinds of experiments all along and actually intends to scare off some of his already well-off liberal white types who spend 3k+ on Starbucks a year.  After all, how many flak barrages intended to induce white self-loathing can these types endure?

Schultz’s idea will create friendly fire situations and the casualties will be his own fellow ideologues.   Think about it, how many of the intended targets – backwater redneck conservative stereotypes – actually frequent Starbucks who aren’t actively boycotting it?  That was a rhetorical question.

Despite the backlash and drubbing coming from various sides of the spectrum , some of the mainstream media consider this a great idea. Time Magazine actually proclaimed #RaceTogether as a “brilliant” and “bold move” rather then a kamikaze mission in which allies will have their eco friendly cars sunk.   No, this doesn’t make me happy, it makes me sad.

What about the dialogue?

An honest conversation about race will only occur (1) between friends & family with liquor involved and the smartphones put away and (2) when people stop seeing every last damn thing through a racial lens – namely SJWs and many on the left who base their entire identity off race rather then the actual person.

Remember, vast generalizations and labels of people based on their race, ethnicity, and gender are perfectly acceptable as long as it’s the right people.    Being judged based on who you are is just too tiresome and isn’t convenient for being a part of the continual victim club.

The Chicago Meetup with Mike Cernovich And What I Learned.

About a week and a half ago, I had the privilege of interacting with Mike Cernovich  from Danger & Play in person at a meetup he held in Chicago.  I really wasn’t sure if I wanted to take the train all the way down to the City – specifically Union Station and then hike my way to the Godfrey Hotel where the meetup was at. (Note I’m at the Fox Lake station which is the start of the line so I literally have to ride all the way to end of the line.)

I had never heard of the place before which was about a 30 minute walk from Union Station. The Godfrey Hotel was draped in the aesthetics of modern decor.  It felt rather more comfortable then fancy.  (I should have taken some pictures besides the two I did of Mike and co.) Needless to it had the flavor and semblance of a restaurant/bar, but I still felt like I was on a rooftop loft – perfect atmosphere.

Seriously, look at this place. I feel poor.

There wasn’t necessarily any organized agenda besides getting us to meet other like minded people and network.  Those of us there talked amongst ourselves as well as with Mike about every different topic under the sun. If you weren’t there, you really missed out. That as well as good food and the amount of Sangria that kept pouring forth onto our table.

Something that can’t be stressed enough is how down to earth Mike was.  People – SJWs in particular – might not realize how humble he actually is.   When I was chatting with him there was something he said that really sticks with me about how to deal with past mistakes made online,

“You’re right.  See what I write in the future.”

Hopefully my memory serves me correct for that quote, but that was in regards to having made statements, tweets, ect in the past that we wish we hadn’t.   When this happens the responsible thing to do is to own that history and demonstrate by what you write in the present and future who you are and what you stand for. People are afraid to admit past mistake, and with the internet nowadays I can understand why.  As Mike would say, “Own Your Name.”

2014-11-29 18.01.05
However, the mistakes are there. You can’t really bury them. You must simply admit them and move on. This has nothing to do with apologizing to SJWs – merely that if there are mistakes in your past – you simply acknowledge them and move on.  Alas, you do not back down.

I think this is something Mike realized through #GamerGate.  He is not technically a gamer and has criticized them to some extent before, but he realized the importance of what #GamerGate is to that is  has become the most recent struggle in the culture  wars.

Mike has realized that people are afraid to speak up. To show their disagreement and insist that they as gamers are not dead.  Some of those in Gamergate might not be willing to risk speaking out, but Mike is that champion who is willing to do such themselves and can stand up to the SJW onslaught and twitter mobs.

I must admit, sometimes I lack motivation like a gazelle lacks the ability to escape a lion. It sucks. However, I can’t make excuses as it doesn’t actually solve anything – no matter how valid the excuses may be, the situation has not changed.  Something I’ve realized; surround yourself with motivated and passionate people and you will start to become motivated yourself.   Iron sharpens Iron.

Basic Primer: How To Deal With Vitriol From Social Justice Warriors

In every comment section you can be thoroughly entertained Gladiator style. I often scroll through comments to get an idea of reader’s reactions to some of the magical pieces of brilliant journalism that are displayed at sites  … TRIGGER WARNING!!!!!

Nah, I’m joking… at sites such as Jezebel, Gawker, Kotaku, ect.   Fortunately there are some sites that present the other side of the issue – specifically on #Gamergate – such as The Ralph Retort.  To be fair, I find the comments agreeable because of my bias on the subject of #Gamergate.

Context To The Primer

Credit to ArsenicSundae for a comment that presents a very important basic primer on how to respond to Social Justice Warriors. Note that “apologizing” isn’t in there. In fact, NEVER do that.  Don’t back down.

When they come after you, tell ’em to fuck themselves, because all they need is for you to engage them on their terms, which gives them an opening they can exploit.

When you’re willing to “discuss” something with them, it lends credence to their accusations and the next thing you know, you’re owning that shit.

This is an extremely important point because if you respond and try to defend yourself from  the common accusations that you are a sexist, misogynist, racist, ect you have already essentially admitted assumed guilt.  Your response validates their accusations – no matter how false and full of shit said accusations are.

Thousands of tweets later you have now become guilty.  Take Bill Frezza’s article on Forbes, “Drunk Female Guests Are The Gravest Threat To Fraternities.” which was eventually axed thanks to the tolerance views of SJWs on differing viewpoints.  He made the mistake of apologizing on his blog validating the claims of the lynch mob.

What lesson can we learn here? You don’t attempt rational discourse with people who have no interest in it.  They simply would rather attempt to vilify you with labels in the court of public opinion then have an open and honest dialogue with you.  Don’t waste your time by giving them time and most specifically ATTENTION.

The proper response to SJW’s involves dismissing their claims outright and immediately. Eventually labels like misogynist, racist, sexist, ect won’t mean anything because will rightfully not take them seriously after seeing that others aren’t taking them seriously either.

Primer 101:  SJW Accusations & Responses

Familiarize yourself with the usual responses – most notably that of the recent Matt Taylor whose “sexist” shirt trumped his accomplishment of helping to land a machine on a moving comet.   He went even went one step further and cried in his apology.

Yea, it still hurts me to think about that.  Remember bullying is bad, unless you are bullying a grown man into crying over his shirt choice.   What should Taylor have done? Observe the following:

Examples of poor responses to SJW harassment:

“That’s not what I meant.”
“Let me explain.”
“You’re twisting my words.”
“I apologize.”

We are all used to these. Now for the retorts?

Examples of good responses to SJW harassment:

“Fuck you.”
“Go fuck yourself.”
“Get fucked, you syphilitic little prick.”
“To anyone offended by my words or actions, I’m deeply … naw, fuck it … you can all kiss my ass. Thank you.”

Yea, these responses look extreme. But you have to take extreme actions – specifically in concern to your responses when you are dealing with potential extreme SJW’s mobs.  Your livelihood may actually depend on it in it.