Wuhan virus and one last ‘A-Unicornist’ note

As the Wuhan virus spreads, there are a handful of legitimate sources to which people should turn for information. The most notable among all of these is the CDC. Information that comes from there will be heavily vetted and as updated as possible. It also won’t come with the litany of biases that most other sources have. For example, I am referring to this as the “Wuhan virus” because I believe China holds a tremendous amount of blame for this outbreak and I want to do everything I can to ensure that this virus is closely connected to the communist regime. My motivations are simple: Communism is an evil and it should be exposed as such and we should trust numbers coming from China as much as we should have trusted the USSR in the days following the Chernobyl meltdown that nearly ended the world as we know it. In other words, I’m not a legitimate source of information for this virus. The best I can do is reflect what governments and scientists around the free world are saying: stay away from people, wash your hands, and don’t hoard. Beyond that, it would be irresponsible of me to act as a source of information, even if I do having training in biology and experience in commercial labs. Which brings me to ‘The A-Unicornist‘, the focus of my last couple of posts. This is from his personal Facebook page:

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This virus is far more serious than the flu, and anyone who was even vaguely paying attention knew this even back in January. Mortality rates don’t care about sheer numbers from previous years; to downplay this fact is the height of irresponsibility and a person who does such a thing implicitly highlights why those who have only ever achieved high school graduation, much less any actual training in any science, should never be a source of information for anything of this nature.

Quick correction

In my recent post about a Bernie Bro, I said that The A-Unicornist was, indeed, a Bernie Bro. He’s fundamentally toxic, holier-than-thou, and generally unwilling to engage when he isn’t being praised. That’s a Bernie Bro. (Which makes sense since that’s also who Bernie Sanders is as a person.) I also made sure to mention his hot takes about exercise because they are full-on bro takes. Not in the sense of the Bernie Bro, but in the sense of the quintessential hipster bro. This is different from the Jersey Shore bro who only talks about curls; curls are too mainstream for the hipster bro.

Well, our stereotypical bro has denied being a Bernie Bro at all. Even though he endlessly defends Bernie. Plus he has this haircut:
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If you have that haircut, you’re either marching with Tiki torches and yelling about Jews or you’re a disaffected white bro who isn’t quite comfortable with antisemitism part.

Also, he said this:

But i knew you’d go whining like a little tool on your blog…

Now go blog about how butthurt you are, I’m sure it’ll be a page turner! 😆

This was right after he made a blog post on his Facebook blog about me. Me, a person he knows purely via blogging because he used to be a frequent blogger on his blog where he blogged just four months ago. Also, what is it about meltdowns and emojis? Is there a law about combining the two or is this just a cultural norm that has passed me by?

The A-Unicornist, Bernie Bro extraordinaire

As FTSOS readers from many-a-year-ago know, The A-Unicornist (Mike Doolittle) was a once-active atheist blogger. He mostly sticks to politics on his Facebook page now. Unfortunately, his politics are largely contained to Huffington Post-style platitudes and, more recently, Bernie Bro ideology. I’ve spent some time calling him out on some of his worst talking points. Here’s the most recent:

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He added this to his post:

Don’t forget about Bill Gates’ $500 million electric super yacht.

I believe history will look upon Bill Gates as one of the world’s greatest philanthropists. I always find myself disappointed when he says he isn’t interested in running for President, but then I quickly realize the reason is that he has accomplished far more with his charitable efforts than he ever could as the leader of the United States. As such, I commented in defense of Gates. Doolittle claimed I missed the point of the post. Namely, he contended that he was making the point that Gates’ and Bezos’ massive wealth can be taxed without hurting them in any meaningful way. Of course, this missed the point of my comment, which was that criticism of the wealthy is not an argument for why they should be taxed. No one really cares if a billionaire does billionaire things. The issue at hand is whether or not it’s good for society and the economy to raise or lower taxes. “It won’t hurt them to pay more” doesn’t address that.

This quickly devolved into quite a bit of name calling by Doolittle. He was upset over two specific things I said. First, when I asked him to expand upon exactly what he meant when he said I missed the point, I followed up with a quip about how he was likely to duck out, though. And that’s true. He doesn’t usually write more than a couple of comments unless someone is largely agreeing with him and/or he’s getting ‘likes’. Second, when he said his point was that wealthy people can afford higher taxes, I said that that is a non-argument and I emphasized a particular sentence by saying “I know that sentence lost you, so let me be clear”. I then repeated the specific point I was making.

He had a meltdown.

Doolittle threw a number of “Cro-magnon” references my way. He also began reflecting my language because, evidently, I hit a nerve. Specifically, I wondered why someone who is able to get into the nuances of philosophy has such trouble letting go of his ideology when it comes to politics. Suddenly, I was the one trapped in my ideology. This gets at my ice-cream-on-the-playground-analogy (which I was sure to point out). He also brought up some random criticism I made of Bernie Sanders from months and months ago. I’m not sure why he bothered with that since it wasn’t relevant, but I’m happy to repeat it here for the sake of spreading it around: Sanders visited and praised the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. He attended anti-American rallies where people chanted for the death of Americans. He wasn’t merely anti-Contra; he was actively promoting the oppressive Sandinistas because they were socialists.

This was apparently the last straw for the Bro. I found myself blocked from his page and my recent comments had disappeared. He then made this post:

It’s really rare that I drop the banhammer on a longtime follower, but I’m also way past the point where I feel obligated to provide a platform for someone who is committed to being condescending, antagonistic, dishonest, and uncharitable.

So, ya know, if you start with a clearly bad-faith comment and follow it with a second comment that’s basically just an insult before I’ve even had a chance to reply, it’s a safe bet you’re not actually interested in a dialogue. Usually my only regret is not banning such individuals sooner.

Fortunately, the overwhelming majority of my followers – even those who disagree with me on occasion – are not just intelligent but patient and charitable as well.

Note, this is yet another reflection of previous language I have used with him. Specifically, I called him out on his bad faith approach to pro-life arguments. (He argues from a position of pro-choice assumption, drawing conclusions about the motives of pro-lifers based on his conclusions.) Moreover, this is an instance of gas lighting. As I mentioned above, he threw around a fit of insults himself. I honestly think he was upset that none of them landed; I specifically called them out as being thrown around randomly rather than with any specificity (as I did when I knew a particular sentence would be lost on him). Also, he called me an “obnoxious twat” in a private message. He isn’t the saint he wants you to think he is.

I will cop to the condescension. The common Bernie Bro lives in a bubble where they believe they are a liberal who is putting forth strong arguments, but the reality is, the Bro is expressing leftist positions without knowing that’s what they even are.

I reject the labels of dishonesty and a lack of being charitable. Specifically, I was recently charitable with Bernie Sanders’ meltdown over telling Elizabeth Warren that a woman couldn’t win in 2020. His statement was descriptive, not normative. That is, he was making an assessment of the political landscape rather than saying anything about the qualifications of women. At worst, it was an inaccurate hot take. This point was received and returned with abuse by Doolittle that is common to the Bro.

For someone without a college education and with limited formal knowledge of fitness, Doolittle has done well enough for himself. His politics are bubble hot takes and his fitness advice revolves around this-is-bad-because-it’s-popular takes, but he has managed to carve a path for himself nonetheless. He has even managed to adequately engage in philosophical arguments without any formal education. What’s unfortunate, however, is his inability to engage in a discourse that reflects more than his own point of view.

Mele Kalikimaka

Well, I didn’t do my annual Christmas post last year, so I guess I can move on to a new picture. Here’s a tree from Kona, Hawaii.

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Maeghan Maloney facing disciplinary hearing

From the Kennebec Journal:

The district attorney of Kennebec and Somerset counties is facing a disciplinary hearing later this month because of an allegation that she improperly discussed a case with a judge.

Maeghan Maloney is due to answer misconduct charges stemming from a conversation she had with a Superior Court justice that led to the overturning of a Sidney man’s conviction on numerous child sexual assault charges and the granting of a new trial of him. She is scheduled to go before the grievance commission of the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar on May 20 for a hearing that could result in disciplinary action.

This is the same woman who is married to pretend-doctor Christopher Maloney. The two of them attempted to sue me for engaging in protected speech, and in the process, Maeghan Maloney threatened me with criminal statutes. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that is actually a wild breach of basic ethics in any civil proceeding. It doesn’t surprise me to hear she hasn’t changed her ways whatsoever.

Update: She was admonished for her misconduct.

Thought of the day

Always fight speech you don’t like with more speech. Don’t abuse the legal system to get your way.

Congrats to Jon Gale

I don’t remember the last time I was registered as a Democrat, but it hasn’t been for many years. And I still don’t consider myself one, even if many of my political positions line up with the party. However, I recently learned that an attorney who helped out Black Lives Matter in Portland, Maine with some pro Bono work was running for Cumberland County DA. He also had a good amount of experience as a defense attorney – something I think is important. So I registered as a Democrat yesterday just so I could vote for him. And also so I could vote against at least one odious candidate who I know for a fact has perjured herself in front of Maine courts while also intentionally violating Sixth Amendment rights/hiding malfeasance from the press and public. Thankfully, it looks like Gale has taken the race with a 3 point margin of victory.

A true honor: For the Sake of Science is partially blocked in Pakistan

I have received a wonderful email:

Hello,

A Pakistan authority has issued a demand to block a file on your WordPress.com site:

Unfortunately, we must comply to keep WordPress.com accessible for everyone in Pakistan. We will not be challenging this demand, but if you wish to discuss what the legal avenues of appeal may be, please get in touch as soon as possible. There is usually a very short period of time in which objections can be lodged.

As a result of this demand, the file (below) on your site is now inaccessible for Internet visitors originating from Pakistan. They will instead see a message explaining why the content was blocked.

Visitors from outside of Pakistan are not affected.

And I was so close to turning the tide against believing in religious nonsense in Pakistan, too.

It tickles my fancy to know that there’s some censorious schmuck over in Pakistan tasked with finding random pictures insulting Islam from nearly 10 years ago. Of course, censorship is always a tragedy, but I suppose the silver lining here is that the sort of person who willingly censors others in violation of their basic human rights is also the sort of person who will have a tendency to go to extremes to punish those who they think should be censored. I’ve faced scum like that first-hand. So I guess it’s better that this Pakistani authority/human rights violator is sitting behind a desk rather than in a position of real power.

Also, not for nothing, but since Christianity dominates in Western culture that tends to favor free speech, my site hasn’t been blocked anywhere for posting a YMCA-Jesus pose picture in that same post.

A quick thought on the death penalty

The reason I oppose the death penalty isn’t because of its cost or the possibility of an innocent person being killed or because no government should have the right to put its own citizens to death. Those aren’t necessarily bad reasons – particularly the last one – but I simply can’t wrap my head around someone coming to a profound moral conclusion based on something like cost. That simply should not be an important factor in deciding what is moral and immoral. Rather, I oppose the death penalty because it is murder-by-committee. Instituting a process doesn’t change that fact. Taking the life of a person who poses no immediate threat is murder is murder is murder. (And, no, that doesn’t mean prison is nothing more than kidnapping: ostensibly, imprisoning someone is for the short-term and long-term safety of society, so it serves a legitimate purpose not found in kidnapping.)

Bizarrely, this position is often met with the same asinine argument over and over: murder is a legal concept and the death penalty is not illegal, therefore the death penalty is not murder. I mean, really. Do people actually think that if governments cease to exist at some point in the future – and surely, before the Sun collapses on itself, they will – that murder will also cease to exist? Did murder simply not exist during the first 190,000 or so years of human existence before the first civilizations? Because these are some of the positions a person necessarily must hold in order to assert that murder is defined by government and government alone.

And if that isn’t enough to dissuade someone from taking the above argument seriously, then consider all the horrible regimes that have existed throughout time. How many genocidal events have occurred where the host government considered its own actions illegal? Was the Holocaust not murder on a massive scale because Hitler said it was an okey-dokey thing to do?

What is a gene?

I remember one of the first biology-based debates I found myself in was in some random message board devoted to music. I can’t for the life of me remember what the board was, and I doubt it still exists today anyway, but I recall music being central to what brought me there. Of course, there were plenty of other subjects up for discussion at this place and in its various forums, and that led me into some useless debate with a racist metal head. (I’m sure his racism and affinity for metal were quite independent of each other.) He was making some claim about black people and intelligence, and he kept referencing some gene he seemed convinced proved his point. This was probably well over 15 years ago, so I don’t recall many of the specifics, but I do recall not really knowing what a gene was, so it was difficult to counter him effectively. I tried looking it up, but there really weren’t any easy-to-digest answers for someone who didn’t know what to look for in the first place. And, of course, this was a bit before the days of YouTube (and Wikipedia was in its infancy). Fortunately, for better or worse, the Internet is a far different place today. As such, I wanted to post a YouTube video I found in the hope that any person who finds himself in a similar situation to mine from years past would be able to gain a quick understanding of what a gene is. There’s a certain type of person who loves to use science to justify a belief he would hold no matter what, and relatively-educated racists are among them. Here’s the short video: