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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Thought of the day

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

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:

Thought of the day

In any debate, there’s a good chance one or both sides will find something frustrating. It happens to me all the time. That’s the nature of debate. However, I think one of the more insidious ways frustration creeps in – especially in our 2018, you-either-100%-agree-with-me-or-you’re-literally-a-Nazi/commie/libtard/cuck culture – is when a person refuses to acknowledge that one particular point they’ve been using might be bad or in some way flawed. There seems to be this belief that if a single thing about an argument is wrong, then the entire conclusion and/or the broader point(s) being made have to be thrown out. Many of my more recent posts focus on this sort of thing. For example:

In this post, I talked about people who used bad correlation to claim Confederate statues were racist. The correlation sucked and it was bad science. But does any reasonable person think that means the case for Confederate statues being racist just got weaker?

In this post, Shaun King claimed 1) Thomas Jefferson never did anything as President to stop slavery and 2) Jefferson refused to free Sally Hemings while he was alive. The first claim is blatantly false and the second one is dubious; delving into the second claim reveals that Sally Hemings, while in the free country of France where she was paid a wage, actually negotiated a future for herself and her children. None of these facts mean King has to stop hating Thomas Jefferson for owning slaves with whom he fathered upwards of 6 children.

In this post, I talked about the nonsense claims that said Joe Arpaio was accepting guilt by accepting his pardon. The case law supports exactly the opposite conclusion, and, ultimately, the issue isn’t settled law. But does that mean Joe Arpaio isn’t a racist piece of shit who knowingly broke a host of laws? Of course not. But that doesn’t mean my point wasn’t met (elsewhere) with accusations of supporting Arpaio and his shitty policies.

I greatly dislike the level of polarization that permeates seemingly everything today. Person 1 should be able to draw conclusion X while using points A, B, C, D, and E, and Person 2 should be able to agree with conclusion X even though he may reject point C. Why Person 1 so often thinks this means he must be mortal enemies with Person 2 is both baffling and disheartening.

Thought of the year

God still doesn’t exist, alt-medicine is still quackery that cures nothing (including the flu, colon cancer, and diabetes), and Tom Brady is still the greatest NFL player of all time.