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Too many Catch 22s in Charlottesville, and it feels familiar

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I have a long-standing policy that when two parties with which I disagree face off against each other, I step aside, let the situation play out, and avoid the crossfire. But with one dead and 19 wounded after a car rammed through protesters during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA, I can’t do that right now. I can’t choose to be silent when people are dying, and I can’t ignore the fact that just as we negotiate nuclear war with North Korea, a civil war is breaking out in America.

But how do I choose a side when one group is Antifa and the other is neo-Nazis and the KKK? Which of them is less wrong?

The rally began in opposition to the removal of a statue of Civil War General Robert E. Lee. I won’t advocate for the erasure of history; I’m not a fascist book-burner. I won’t call for the crucifixion of a man who, although I ardently disagree with his position, offers an unparalleled depth of humanity to one of the darkest periods in American history.

But I also can’t publicly defend the preservation of the statue because I know I’ll be lumped in the white supremacists who genuinely don’t understand the character of General Lee and his positions on race. It’s not about truth anymore; it’s about tribalism. Gone are the days when you could think someone a fool 90% of the time and agree with them the other 10%.

Lastly, I can’t defend the actions of the white supremacist who mowed over more than 20 people. But on the other hand, I won’t pretend that his violent actions implicate the entirety of his allies as being equally violent — it’s possible to peacefully promulgate a filthy ideology.

The KKK is evil. Antifa is evil. Racism is evil. Dismantling the truth is evil. I don’t want to pick either faction; I’m condemning violence, bigotry, and fascism from either group.

How do you choose a side when both sides are wrong? How do you decide between the side who’s doing the right thing for the wrong reasons and the one doing the wrong thing for the right reasons? How do you pick between the lesser of two evils?

If that sounds familiar, it should. It’s been our country’s mantra for over a year now when faced with the abhorrent choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. I refused to take a side then, just as I’m doing now, but I didn’t get off easily for that last year.

So to everyone who called me and anyone like me a sellout, a fool, a Nazi, a cuck, and even a traitor to my country for refusing to vote for either leading candidate, I’m not letting you get off now.

I’m looking at you, Sean Hannity. And Dennis Prager. And Rush Limbaugh. And Tomi Lahren. And Milo Yiannopoulos. I’m not saying you caused this violence; I’m not saying Trump caused this violence. But since it’s before us, I’m making you choose: which is the lesser of two evils? Which side will you defend, sycophantically and nauseatingly, no matter what they say, do, or promote? I know you’re capable of rationalizing your groveling at the feet of a repugnant character — do it again. Because if you don’t, aren’t you’re a traitor to your country? How can you refuse to pick a side when people are dying? Do you just want people to die?

It’s not so fun when you’re being backed into that corner, is it? But how can you justify neutrality now when you consider it gross wickedness to do so regarding Trump?

No more pointing fingers. Own up to your hypocrisy and take a side — not between the KKK and Antifa, but between having principles and backing the winning side at all costs. If you can’t figure out for what you stand, you’ll never know for whom you stand.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Eric Dixon

    August 13, 2017 at 5:42 am

    This is very insightful

  2. Annie

    August 13, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    Thank you Richie.

  3. David L

    August 14, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    Well said. I couldn’t agree more.

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Culture and Religion

Harvard students figured out why women are paid less than men

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Harvard students figured out why women are paid less than men

It genuinely disgusts me that, despite how much we’ve progressed as a society, especially in regards to our treatment of minorities and women, men still earn more than women do. It makes me ashamed of my country. How can we still refer to the United States as the “Land of Opportunity” when women are only paid $0.80 for every $1.00 that men are paid despite working just as hard in the same positions? Hell, even that depressing number doesn’t accurately express how large the gender pay gap is, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

In the report, titled Still a Man’s Labor Market: The Slowly Narrowing Gender Wage Gap, published in November 2018, the organization revealed that women earn a mere 49% of what men do. What’s worse is that it won’t be until 2059 that men and women have 100% equal pay, assuming the gap continues to narrow as slowly as it currently is. This is absolutely unacceptable, and it’s well past time Congress made it illegal for employers to pay women less than men for the same work.

At least, that’s what I would say if I was a leftist moron who still pays attention to the easily debunked “women earn less than men because of sexism” argument that’s been regurgitated countless times over the years.

The reality is that Congress made it illegal for employers to pay people differently based on their sex decades ago. It was called the “Equal Pay Act” and it was signed into law by President John F. Kennedy all the way back in June 1963. Ever since then, employers have been able to pay employees differently based on their merit, their seniority, their work output, or really whatever factors the employer desires… except sex.

A man and a woman in identical positions with identical output are legally required to be paid the same amount, and employers that fail to do so run the risk of some hefty legal ramifications. But if that’s the case, then why do the numbers presented by the IWPR show that there’s such a massive gender pay gap? Is the Equal Pay Act ineffective? Did the IWPR mess up its numbers? Is there some patriarchal plot to keep women from making money?

No, no, and no. The real answer is incredibly simple, and it’s one I’m sure most of us were able to figure out on our own the first time we heard the “women earn ($0.75, $0.79, $0.80) for every $1.00 that men earn” statistic that’s been getting thrown around for years. Basically, men are paid more than women on average because they seek out more lucrative jobs on average and work longer hours on average. If you take the combined earnings of all the women in the United States in a given year, divide that number by how many women worked at any point in that year, and then do the same for men, you’ll see that the earnings-per-working-woman are quite a bit lower than the earnings-per-working-man, so clearly there is a gender pay gap. However, despite what leftists like the people at the IWPR want you to believe, this gap has nothing to do with sexism.

This was demonstrated in a report, also published in November 2018, by two PhD Candidates in Economics at Harvard University. In the report, titled Why Do Women Earn Less Than Men? Evidence from Bus and Train Operators, the two students examined the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority in order to figure out why such a heavily unionized agency in such a notoriously progressive city (Boston) still paid its female employees $0.89 for every $1.00 it paid its male employees. The answer was, once again, incredibly simple. Women were less likely than men to work overtime hours while also being more likely to take unpaid time off. That’s it. That’s all there is to it.

Men tended to prefer making more money to having more free time, while women tended to prefer having more free time to making more money. While an argument could be made that more employers should account for the different preferences of men and women, something the report actually advises on how to do, there’s no basis for the argument that the gender pay gap is a result of sexism.

It should be noted that the Harvard report examined just one industry in one metropolitan area, which means the findings aren’t applicable everywhere, but the gist of them is. Yes, there is a gender pay gap. That’s an objective fact. However, it has nothing to do with sexism. The causes of the gap vary from industry to industry and place to place, but they almost always have to do with the inherent differences between men and women. I think there’s a conversation to be had about whether or not this is an issue, and if it is, whether it’s up to employers, society, or women themselves to solve it, but to even have that conversation requires us to abandon the idea that sexism is the cause. There are certainly some instances where it is the cause, but the vast majority of the time, it’s not.

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Culture and Religion

A guide to classical liberalism

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A guide to classical liberalism

The modern interpretation of the ideology known as “liberalism” is usually associated with the progressive left. Despite the roots of true liberalism – individualism, Natural Rights, and liberty itself – the modern understanding of liberalism has been skewed to make people think more of illiberal politicians like Bernie Sanders instead of Constitutional originalists like Antonin Scalia as liberals.

This 27-minute video does a fine job of breaking down the historical ideas that brought about classical liberalism and the men who brought them to light. It also accurately points out that equality of opportunity for individuals is necessary for a modern society, thus it was this mentality that brought about the end of slavery and the promotion of women’s rights.

From John Locke to James Madison, from the thinkers of Great Britain to the founding fathers of the United States, this video from The Academic Agent brings us through the history of classical liberalism.

For a brief introduction we posted a shorter video earlier:

What classical liberalism is, briefly

http://noqreport.com/2018/12/12/classical-liberalism-briefly/The progressive left and the Democratic Party have undergone many transformations over the last century. They’ve masterfully spun American understanding of language and labels to the point that history has been in a constant state of being rewritten to conform to their machinations. One of the most perverse examples of this is how they now claim the mantle of “liberalism.”

Sadly, those who embrace Natural Rights, limited government, and individualism have been forced to amend our label as liberals to become “classical liberals” for the sake of escaping confusion. Most Americans today would assume if we call ourselves “liberals” that we must be big fans of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

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Culture and Religion

Fine-tuning and incredible calibration points to creation over random chance

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Fine-tuning and incredible calibration points to creation over random chance

Homicide investigator J. Warner Wallace is familiar with looking for tampering. His job makes him look for things that don’t fit. At his core, he is forced to ask questions about the various situations he investigates in order to see where the evidence points.

When he’s not catching bad guys, he’s a Christian apologist. In this role, he utilizes the same skills he’s honed over the decades as an investigator to demonstrate why it makes much more sense to believe in creation than a randomly generated universe.

The author of Cold-Case Christianity started off as a skeptical atheist, but as he investigated deeper, he soon realized it was impossible for the secular worldview to be correct as it pertained to the origins of the universe and life on the planet.

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