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u/[deleted] · 3 pointsr/moderatepolitics

Thanks for the thoughtful comment! I'll try to address all your points.

> My problem here is that I find some aspects of Conservative culture contemptible, having been directly exposed to them. I expect I'm likely to get some nods from social conservatives - I know they feel the same way about me and I'm suprisingly ok with that. I know why they feel as they do. But the reasons are not interchangeable nor do I find the reasons equally compelling.

I was raised in a very conservative area myself so I know exactly what you mean. If you're like me, you've seen an environment openly hostile to gay people, racial minorities, and ceaselessly preoccuppied with others' reproductive rights. Trust me, I know what you mean and I do think that a big problem is that rural/conservative America has not been held accountable for the way it creates the necessity for people to agitate for their rights.

But the reason you do not find them equally compelling is because you have a differing moral palette from a social conservative. I don't share them, either, but reading Jonathan Haidt's book The Righteous Mind opened me up a lot to the possibility that there's more to it than just closed-mindedness.

This is not to say that I think homophobia and racism have value. More that I think if we are to adequately ensure the equal treatment of all people, those who do not prioritize that goal need to understand why others think the way they do.

Unfortunately there's nothing to say that social conservatives must understand the way others think. Is that fair to liberals? No. But it's work anyone must do if they want their ideas to be made material. But persuasion and slow change are incredibly important tools in a democracy.

> Since I do believe in individual liberty, I tend to respond to social conservatives saying that "liberals are trying to redefine male and female" for everybody with a derisive snort. I'm in fairly good touch with that sort of liberal - and it's all about being allowed to define your own self. That's a conclusion that is trivially established by asking a few people.

I wish I could agree with you that the goal is about personal liberty, but in a world where Obama's reinterpretation of Title IX materially changes the experience of women and children in bathrooms and locker rooms, it is regrettably not so. Trans people should of course be free of violence, harassment, employment, and housing discrimination. But redefining male/female to be subjective identities rather than material conditions impacts everybody in a huge way. It can take away the right of a woman to eject a male (regardless of gender identity) from her changing area simply because an internal gender identity cannot be proven or disproven. There are non-conservative reasons to rankle at this, that have a lot to do with liberty.

> My childhood brand of Conservatism meshes will with that. But then, it took Classical Liberalism as a given. Individual liberties are sacred and government exists to enforce them against those who would take them from us. Those who violate them are wrong. To the extent that any small trespass is needed in order to achieve some goal, compensation is due.
> It's not a violation of anyone's liberty to respect the needs of the transgendered. If anything, it's a universal increase of liberty.
> Attempts to force other people into a gender binary are being judged harshly. But then, IMHO, force is bad. I cite the Non-Aggression Principle. Nobody is being judged for being gender-conforming and heteronormative. Most people are, to the extent that it's silly to think that the exceptions could be any threat to the general rule.
> This is gay marrage redoux - the idea that gays getting married somehow "ruins" marriage, when all it does is allow another group of people to exercise their individual rights fully.

I understand the comparison between feeling threatened over "redefining marriage" and being skeptical of attempts to "redefine male/female." But marriage has been defined and redefined by the government with a bunch of laws before. There's precedence. Expanding the legal definition to include same-sex consenting adults doesn't change what marriage is (a contractual agreement between consenting adults).

Redefining male/female to be a subjective identity rather than a physical reality is much more complicated. On the grounds of individual liberty, adults should absolutely have the right to dress themselves however they want, and request that others address them how they desire. Absolutely.

But Obama's Title IX letter openly makes clear that sex protections are actually reflective of gender identity. That is redefining male/female in a way that is essentially reflective of a religious belief. And it's not one that everyone shares, or should have to share.

You are entitled to behave and dress and act and think however you want in terms of gendered presentation. That is the right of all people. Females should absolutely be able to be assertive, dress in trousers, and occupy positions of power. Males should absolutely be able to be delicate, wear frilly dresses, and do all the housework they please without being harassed or discriminated against.

You are entitled to all these things. But you are not entitled to your own facts, and there is no scientific proof that internal, innate subjective gender identity exists beyond people saying "I am male/female." Acknowledgment of this claim people have of themselves should not be legislated in the same way acknowledging God should not be legislated. As with religion, it would be absurd if people should be forced to cooperate. The saying goes, "your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins." Consider that there is a nose here you're not seeing-- a woman or girl's right to facilities free of penis isn't just uppity, bigoted Christians with an irrational fear. Women fought hard for sex-segregated public facilities. Before them, they were much less able to access the public sphere.

Bear in mind that passing trans people (or those with consent from their communities) have always been able to use the facilities of their identity. But to put into writing that subjective identity trumps all regardless of other factors is redefining male/female for everybody.

> But clearly, this is a clash of moral visions. And clearly, I feel that my consequentialist ethical foundation is far more defensible than a Deontological "Because God Said So."

> I support the right of individual self-determination and reject the notion that I can be expected to sacrifice my own best interest in the name of supporting a social vision I fundamentally object to. I also support those who feel that god says something quite different than what Pat Robertson says they say. I find it difficult to conceive of a god worth knowing that would give Pat Roberson the time of day.
> I should point out that with a few radical exceptions, liberals are not demanding the same thing. They are perfectly willing to accept Conservative self-descriptions. Speaking for myself, I may not believe them, but I'll accept them. It's no more difficult than accepting and tolerating those people who believe they are transpeciated.

I will, too. But not as their gender identity. I might on a case-by-case basis. But that is not the current stated political goal and it is not what the Title IX letter did.

You might accept, love, and want all human rights and housing/employment discrimination protections for a person who believes, with 100% conviction, that they are a dog. But if a great number of dog-folk start lobbying to change the legal definition of a dog to be a subjective state that has nothing to do with bodies? There are far-reaching implications. A lot of noses, so to speak.

> My response is a simple "if you say so." It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. Now, I don't have to think of them as strangely compelling either. Nobody is asking me to. If I do, that's my issue and since it is - it's not something I can blame on "liberals."

In many situations, what you're saying applies. I don't think people should be mean to transgender people. I just also do not think that legal definitions of male and female should be changed to reflect their beliefs.

Acknowledging someone's preferred subjective identity is easy and ideal in passing! But it's a bit different when there's an obvious male in your wife's gym's locker room, armed with legislation that prevents her from using common sense to deduce that this person is a man with a fetish. Or an obviously male teenager dominating your daughter's female athletics division.

These may seem like petty concerns, but things like these don't affect you until they do. I encourage you to think about having no recourse if you were in these situations. There's a big difference between being accepting of gender-non-conforming people and redefining male and female to be subjective identities, and that is exactly what the Title IX letter sought to do.

Again, none of this is to say trans people are bad and deserve any sort of harm. It's just to say there are perfectly valid reasons to find some of the recent specific legislation pertaining to gender identity to impinge upon their rights.

u/20000RadsUnderTheSea · 3 pointsr/moderatepolitics

I've actually been really disappointed to read into the history and current usage of most modern non-profits (charities) and realized that they are basically a tax dodge for the super-rich. For instance, think of the tax breaks for donating to various non-profits. They don't disappear if you own the charity, allowing you to create charities, place your own money in them to reduce your tax burden, and spend it how you like.

And almost none has to be directed towards your stated goal, similar to how non-profits like The Wounded Warriors Project use less than 10% of the donated money to actually help veterans.

Even worse, depending on the type of 501 non-profit it is, you can usually use that money politically. Recent-ish court cases have determined that, even ones that were originally designed to not permit political spending, the word "primarily" allows for up to 49% of money to be spend on political issues directly. And obfuscation can allow for plenty more to indirectly support political issues.

A final piece of the puzzle is how you can set up tax-free trusts for your kids to avoid estate taxes. They sound good: the rich get no taxes to transfer money to their kids because the interest that accrues on the trust for a decade or two goes to charities. But when own the charity you are giving the interest to, it's just a tax dodge.

If you are interested in reading more, the book Dark Money is a fascinating read. It is a bit left of center, though. Provides a lot of background on non-profits and their inception though... they used to be illegal and thought of as thoroughly un-American. And now, they are used to take billions of dollars from the wealthy, while reducing their tax burden, to fund their political causes with no limits, thanks to cases like Citizen's United.

Sorry if this was all a little off topic.

u/BudrickBundy · 1 pointr/moderatepolitics

Here he compares the CO2 alarmism to believing in magic:

>I haven’t spent much time on the details of the science, but there is one thing that should spark skepticism in any intelligent reader. The system we are looking at consists in two turbulent fluids interacting with each other. They are on a rotating planet that is differentially heated by the sun. A vital constituent of the atmospheric component is water in the liquid, solid and vapor phases, and the changes in phase have vast energetic ramifications. The energy budget of this system involves the absorption and reemission of about 200 watts per square meter. Doubling CO2involves a 2% perturbation to this budget. So do minor changes in clouds and other features, and such changes are common. In this complex multifactor system, what is the likelihood of the climate (which, itself, consists in many variables and not just globally averaged temperature anomaly) is controlled by this 2% perturbation in a single variable? Believing this is pretty close to believing in magic. Instead, you are told that it is believing in ‘science.’ Such a claim should be a tip-off that something is amiss. After all, science is a mode of inquiry rather than a belief structure.

And here he describes the global warming movement as a "cult".

>“As with any cult, once the mythology of the cult begins falling apart, instead of saying, oh, we were wrong, they get more and more fanatical. I think that’s what’s happening here. Think about it,” he said. “You’ve led an unpleasant life, you haven’t led a very virtuous life, but now you’re told, you get absolution if you watch your carbon footprint. It’s salvation!”

If you read the other comments here you will see that I said that oceans will absorb more CO2, that a greater number of clouds will reflect more heat back into space, and that a greater number of plants will process more CO2. I agree with Lindzen. Where do you think I formed my opinions from? It was from books like this, which reference Lindzen and others, and from Lindzen himself. Lindzen is a leader in this field.


u/BrickSalad · 1 pointr/moderatepolitics

Study philosophy! Seriously, just get a big ol' book on the history of philosophy like this one and wade your way through it. A good amount of political thought is based on philosophy, so understanding it is essential to truly understanding politics. You'll find yourself pondering the great questions like "What is the value of equality? Is it compatible with freedom? Is government necessary? Is there a such thing as a Just War? Are morals relative?", and your answers to these questions will determine where you lie politically. (I haven't actually read the book I linked to, but I've heard it's good and I don't want to recommend you that $100 textbook I read.)

Now, when you wade into the terrifying mess that is contemporary politics, you should learn and keep in mind all of the logical fallacies, because you'll hear lots of them. There isn't really any place to "get started" with this, just look around for sources of unbiased information. Never trust the mainstream media, don't trust fringe activists either. Of course they're both right from time to time, but you're better off doing in depth research on any position. If your like me, that means you'll be ambivalent about most issues simply because you don't have the time to learn about them. That's okay, sometimes it's best to just say "I don't know".

u/amaxen · 1 pointr/moderatepolitics

I got this from this anarchist book. I'm not an anarchist, but the guy did make a lot of interesting and true points. For example: police are heavily fetishized in our society - from the typical TV shows and movie heroes we watch to what we think police do vs. what they actually do. Police are basically armed bureaucrats but are only able to intervene in things they actually have information on, which isn't much. If you drive through town with your license plate not on you'll certainly get that rectified by police. If you beat your wife, though, probably not so much. Same as if you engage in any real consensual activity.

u/SkepTickTickTickTock · 1 pointr/moderatepolitics

I didn’t even know we were in a competition :)

But in all seriousness, it would literally be impossible for me to lose considering you already lost after your use of ad-hominems. All I can suggest is get better at making good arguments, then you won’t have to do that. Look! I even have a book to suggest that you can read to help you out with that!

You’re free to run along now :)

u/CHull1944 · 3 pointsr/moderatepolitics

I know what you're referring to, but that's not what I meant. This Reason article sums it up nicely, and this book by Marc Hetherington also address this, from a time well before Trump and this idea that only R's are that way.

From my own personal experience with liberal or conservative friends, there are some on both sides who like this tough approach. It does tend to be more obvious on the Right, but that's more due to age I think. It seems most younger people of any political affiliation - in my experience - tend to reject authoritarianism. YMMV of course

u/TheGhostOfTzvika · 2 pointsr/moderatepolitics

>Those communists were not in Hollywood and they were not union leaders.

Hollywood - yes, there were communists active in Hollywood. This is discussed in many books, including Reagan's War (Ronald Reagan was president of the Screen Actors Guild at the time some of this was going on).

union leaders - yes, there were communists active in labor unions, including leadership positions. Refer to UE, and ILWU for a couple of examples. The AFL and the CIO kicked some unions out of their federations for being communist dominated.

Refer to

u/o0Enygma0o · 2 pointsr/moderatepolitics

i didn't know it was my job to take seriously people who can't understand the complexities of campaign finance and democratic government. if you want to read an enlightening book, i would suggest this:

u/ModMind · 1 pointr/moderatepolitics

Biden enters this race with his own substantial baggage. How will Biden defend his use of public office to make his son, Hunter, a multi millionaire of off biz deals with China and Ukraine? Read this book before you get on the Biden band wagon:

There are 19 other candidates and counting. Biden does not deserve the lead.

u/verylittlefinger · 8 pointsr/moderatepolitics

> Hey, we want to help the poor by giving more financial assistance. Let us rewrite gun laws to fit our interests, and we'll help Dems help the poor.

You have no idea.

Read this book:

Read Amazon reviews before that to understand what the book is about.

Problem of inner city poverty is not about marginally increasing the giveaways, and it’s nothing Democrats care about solving.

u/Otiac · 1 pointr/moderatepolitics

Here are three textbooks that cover that a zygote is a unique, living, human life.

Care to provide any sort of statement on why, exactly, a zygote, which is scientifically human, alive, and unique, is not a human life? If you want to argue personhood, that's not science, that's philosophy of the mind, and we can go down some dark paths about what constitutes a human. If you want to argue science, there's no argument to be made.

Even people like Peter Singer concede this, because there's nothing to be argued against it. People that want to try and argue against it are trying to morally rationalize their decisions or wants, at least be consistent with it.

u/_DeadPoolJr_ · 8 pointsr/moderatepolitics

Mexico doesn't do anything about illegal immigration because it's embarrassing for them. There was one incident a while back where a group of border crossers were found dead in the desert from dehydration. It got some news coverage and Mexico had declared them national heroes and had the bodies flown back for burial. The other is because they gain finically from all the foreign remittance that gets sent back. This isn't just for Mexico but other countries that have a high count of illegal immigration in the US.

For an example of just how lucrative it can be, PEW says that for 2017 that Mexico received over $30 billion dollars sent in remittances. Other countries like El Salvador rely on it and actually makes up a large amount of their GDP. Just over 17% in their case.

Because of how easy the money is for these countries they have no real pressure or reason to act. What needs to be figured out is how to make it where the amount of money coming in isn't worth the cost.

The story about the migrants being called heroes is from this book.

u/illy-chan · 1 pointr/moderatepolitics

I believe some agencies actually do classify it as a chemical weapon. Source Of course, I suppose you could technically call anything a chemical weapon since they're all ultimately made of chemicals in some form.

White phosphorus is some nasty stuff too. I've read horror stories about its use in WWII, including incidents where soldiers who got it on them shot themselves instead of going through the pain. Pretty much nothing will stop it from burning and, even if you survive the burning, there's a decent chance it'll poison you. Source and very good read too. Actually, given that part, I can see how you could make that case that it's a chemical weapon.

Edited: Needed some punctuation.

u/incardinate · 1 pointr/moderatepolitics

They control themselves and their purpose is their own. Truman regretted ever creating the CIA. He lost control of them as soon as they were created.

>Why, they've got an organization over there in Virginia now that is practically the equal of the Pentagon in many ways. And I think I've told you, one Pentagon is one too many.

>Now, as nearly as I can make out, those fellows in the CIA don't just report on wars and the like, they go out and make their own, and there's nobody to keep track of what they're up to. They spend billions of dollars on stirring up trouble so they'll have something to report on. They've become ... it's become a government all of its own and all secret. They don't have to account to anybody.

>That's a very dangerous thing in a democratic society, and it's got to be put a stop to. The people have got a right to know what those birds are up to. And if I was back in the White House, people would know. You see, the way a free government works, there's got to be a housecleaning every now and again, and I don't care what branch of the government is involved. Somebody has to keep an eye on things.

u/Nolubrication · 23 pointsr/moderatepolitics

Did you fail to actually read the article you linked in your OP (emphasis is mine)?

> Trump stands accused of using the office of the presidency to advance political aims, in particular pressuring Ukraine to investigate potential campaign rival Joe Biden. He’s guilty, but the issue is how guilty, in comparison to his accusers.

Or are you just cherry-picking "deep-state coup" to fit your partisan bias and ignoring the fact that Taibbi (author of Insane Clown President) isn't exactly apologizing for Trump in this article?