I'm a registered Democrat; I just voted in the Democratic primaries in my city for a Democrat for my assemblyman and other Democrats for state senators -- I chose the ones that were for affordable housing, or women's health, or against fracking in upstate. The guy I voted for is for LGBT rights, and even public health care. I don't have insurance and just checking again, I found that it would cost me $415 a month with a $10,000/year deductible, or $2500 a month for a family of three even with the cheapest company.
On most of the issues that the Political Compass deals with, I'm aligned with the lefties, radicals, and libertarian extremists at Sluniverse.com, for example. I'm four-square for gay rights and gay marriage, with no conditions. I personally oppose abortion, but I recognize it as the law of the land and a choice for others without my beliefs. Public health care doesn't scare me -- I studied in Canada and Russia -- but I'm critical.
There are things that just don't show up on this Compass that encompass my beliefs that don't align with the Shariaites at Slun -- I oppose the state mandating companies to offer birth control and abortion-inducers in their health insurance and I think Sandra Fluke is a grand-standing contrived edge-case. There is no need to make the government pay for your birth control in the first place; in the second place, there is no need to make the Jesuits pay for it. Go down the street to Planned Parenthood, also state funded, and pick up your IUD or pills there. That's all! And keep the government out of people's beliefs. No, the Catholic institutions *do* get to keep state funding *even if* they don't agree about this induced abortion policy -- because otherwise, every faith would have to meet a test for every single secular belief of the "progressive" state and others wouldn't pass on other things, and the loss to separation of church and state would be grave.
I'm for gay marriage -- but what I can't express on that chart is that I'm not for boycotts of businesses and people who don't share these views. They get to have their traditional views. That's their right, both to freedom of religion and freedom of expression under the First Amendment. In other words, I'm libertarian on this score -- I'm all for First Amendment rights, and that means not coercing people by the state -- as officials in Chicago and Boston have done by saying they won't issue business permits on the basis of a belief or practice.
I'm a human rights activist, and my views about the Health & Human Services birth control issue, and about the disgraceful and aggressive boycotts and heckling and harassment of Komen (which for a time opposed abortion funding of sub-grantee Planned Parenthood), and chick-fil-A, a business ran by a man who favours traditional marriage between a man and a women is that they are antithetical to human rights. If your VP for public relations has a heart attack and dies over public bullying; if you livelihood is threatened due to boycotts not over any documented actual discrimination against gays, but a viewpoint in favour of traditional marriage, what kind of freedom of speech do you have? You don't.
The left and the libertarian right has no concept of pluralism -- a world in which all the squares on that grid get to co-exist and live and have their being, freely and fully, without being brow-beaten, harassed, coerced, silence by threats to their livelihood or business or even safety.
The people on Sluniverse don't share this rights-based perspective, because they are happy to first heckle and harass, then mute, then ban anyone who disagrees with their rigid, shrill, sanctimonious "progressive" take on the issues.
I'm not a Republican, and I've never voted Republican for a president in my life. I usually vote straight-ticket Democrat; I voted for Governor Pataki after 9/11. I've even voted for Green Party members. I loathe Ayn Rand. I find her merely a mirror-image of the Bolsheviks she opposed, with the same rigidity and harshness and utopianism gone awry -- just like the people of this popular SL forum, in fact, their anonymity amplifying their unreasonably lunacy.
I don't like Sarah Palin, I don't drive an SUV, I don't watch Fox News or even have a TV; I don't shop at Wal-mart, although if I get the opportunity when out of state, I will. In other words, all the things always said of me are bullshit, but I don't care.
The point is, that even with my stellar credentials over the years of voting Democrat, embracing all rights, including LGBT and what are euphemistically called "reproductive rights," even with my social and ecological awareness, I'm voting for a Republican.
I don't like some of Romney's views -- I'm dead against his take on gay marriage. But when I watch this video spread as agitprop by moveon.org, surprisingly, I remain a Romney voter. Why? Because while I exactly believe what this gay veteran said -- "Why the hell" can't he have equal rights and death benefits from a partner killed in action, for example -- I find that Romney comes across as calm, truthful, and sincere, and Moveon.org's mascot comes across as contrived and politicized. He tells us he is gay, but we don't know if he has a gay partner in the military, or whether that's an edge case. He's right that he should have these rights to marriage and benefits -- and he'll have to fight to have them in his state. I'm happy my state has these rights to marriage, although benefits from the military are not available yet.
Romney simply comes across as so much more sincere and straight than Obama ever does, that there's no question of my choice, even with a diametrical disagreement with him on this lifestyle issue.
Why? Because I don't think presidents belong in our sex lives anyway, and that eventually, in time, we will have gay marriage rights everywhere. The president will not roll back abortion or gay rights, such as they are, on his term, as he will be preoccupied with other things. These matters are being decided by states -- work on your state politicians and stop endlessly obsessing on these issues in national elections. They are merely deliberately trolled and contrived to try to keep in power a stealth-socialist president and his cronies. No thanks!
I don't think for one goddamn minute that any Republican is going to take away the right of any woman to have sex when and with whom she wishes; to use birthcontrol; and to avail herself of a timely abortion. Not one minute. The entire charade is contrived and manipulated, and seems fiendishly to distract from the real conservatives of the world taking away women's rights in Iran, Afghanistan, Sudan, and even all these celebrated hearths of the Arab Spring like Tunisia and Egypt.
Because the Political Compass, even if it puts you down in the left quadrant, doesn't enable you to express your opposition to socialism and communism. It doesn't enable you to say that no, you don't think communism is a good idea just never implemented properly. It doesn't enable you to say that no, you don't think state health care or care for the poor or public education are socialism -- if they aren't coercive (like forcing you to pay a fine if you don't sign up) or harshly redistributive (i.e. not means-tested).Why isn't Obama's health care plan for the nation like those already in place in the states like ChildHealthcare Plus -- a) non-coercive b) means-tested?
There are no nuances on the Compass, which was in any event devised by lefties for sure, so as to avoid explosing their authoritarianism and where they'd *really* be on the square if we could get all the answers honestly.
If there were questions that asked whether the makers of the hateful anti-Muslim video should be arrested or have the video pulled, there'd be many "progressives" who would say "yes" -- and that should move them up in that authoritarian quadrant. If there were a question that asked whether people who criticized gays, expressed contempt to gays, or espoused traditional marriage from public positions should be sanctioned in some way, the "progressives" would answer "yes" -- and rightly move into the authoritarian quadrant. If there was a question that asked whether the stock market should be closed and the investors arrested, in keeping with Occupy Wall Street's demands, there would be "progressives" who said yes -- and then should move into the authoritarian part of the quadrant, as they are against free enterprise and freedom of association. And so on. But the square doesn't expose authoritarianism -- really -- except from the right.
The worst thing about all these people is in every argument, when they are challenged, or even bested, they whine that you are trying to take away their right to freedom of expression. That's appallingly outrageous. What they do in fact is try to place a politically-correct chill over expression -- and this puny whimper that they are somehow "victimized" because you refuse to be coerced into agreeing with them, is itself a violation of free debate.
Again, these people have no vision of pluralism, where people in different camps in fact remain in them; where views are not changed; where the clash of perspectives is perpetuated forever, and understandably so, given different interest groups.
This week, we've been treated to an outrageous spectacle of the left indulging in the kowtowing of essentially calling for a blasphemy law in the United States and the world -- just like the Islamists. They want to silence Romney's critique of Obama's handling of the Middle East crisis, and want to make this the watershed for his failed campaign. Nonsense. I'm with James Kirchick all the way on this on Index on Censorship. The timing of the Cairo message isn't the issue; whether you pre-emptively apologize to potential raging mobs for hurting their feelings, or apologize after they've already killed our ambassador, you're still apologing, and it *is* indeed an apology to over-empathize with hurt feelings of people who justify murder with their insult.
And there's no space on the square to again, affirm that what we need is more debate and more frank talk and more exposure of these bad decisions, not less -- we don't have a blasphemy law that says "no criticizing the president in times of national crisis".
It's precisely because I tend to care most about foreign policy, as it's always been related to my occupation, that I chose Romney over Obama. Romney isn't terrific and he seems to have something to learn. But I know he has some good advisors and his instincts, far from seeming awkward to me, are right on target. Russia *is* our enemy -- that I can attest to, personally. The Kremlin made us its enemy, and we have to return the favour. This is a country whose generals called for a missile strike against us if we deploy defense against Iran. Iran! Iran -- against whom Moscow won't make sanctions because it would harm their banking business, as they say frankly and directly in the glare of a summit with Hillary.
I could go on and on about foreign policy failures in the Obama Administration but I've written a lot on my other blogs and don't want to take the time now. The 2009 Cairo speech was an unnecessary capitulation and dangerous rejection of human rights principles, and the capitulation has continued and we see the results.
What worries me even more than Obama -- who is forced to govern more towards the center -- are the Obama supporters among rigid, shrill, ideological "progressives" who gain so much strength and funding from Obama being in power. If he comes back for another four years, all sorts of bad things will continue to happen -- bills like SOPA, dealing with copyright and security will be defeated. Bradley Manning may be pardoned -- a terrible setback for our security and for the legitimate meaning of classified diplomacy in a liberal democratic government -- and a dangerous backing of those who persecuted the WikiLeaks sources and harmed them -- and harmed them most certainly, even if this isn't trumpeted from every web site so as not to paint further tarets on their back. Tyrants in Iran, Russia, Sudan, China will gain more purchase on international affairs -- and they are responsible for allowing most of the world's killing in Syria and many other places.
The coerciveness of the health and social and lifestyle issues will continue, and that's scary, as it will lead to more backlash from the right. I was reading about Putin's cult-of-personality antics today, his flying with the cranes, and the firing of Masha Gessen, an editor who refused to send a reporter to cover his vanity stunt. He summoned the journalist and the editor and tried to explain why he took part in these charades, and even suggested the reporter shouldn't be fired. She declined to accept what amounted to a Kremlin re-appointment -- good for her.
But in watching all this, I was reminded of somebody. That somebody was Obama. He is Putin-like in his intrusion into the private sector and the civil and political issues. When the president uses his power of office to tell someone defying the Jesuits' wish not to fund her birth control (!) and makes a celebrity and demonstrative model of her, this is coercion for all of us. Where can we turn? When the US government -- president, secretary of state, generals -- tell idiots burning Korans not to do this, or even condemn a hateful video, they are using the power of their official state positions to curb speech, like it or not. The solution to bad speech in this country has always been to supply more good speech -- not to have the president come out and thunder against bad speech. Few people would keep burning a Koran after a general calls them and makes them responsible for deaths overseas -- but in fact the general should make responsible those who demonstrate violently and police who kill demonstrators. They're the problem, not some American loon.
The left has become so harsh, coercive, shrill, amplified, obnoxious, and so interfering with the rights of others that it's becoming scary. Imagine, like base and common KGB agents, setting up a system with "firstname.lastname@example.org" to report on your neighbour if his blog is out of line with the president's views. Calling everybody a "liar" if they simply don't interpret the same set of data as you. Endlessly "fact-checking" every little thing in the most tendentious and trolling manner.
Implying that there is a sole scientific truth somewhere, accessible to those of "progressive" tilt. Awful! My vote for Romney is about reversing this tilt, and chastising Democrats who have to straighten up and put back somebody like the Clintons as their leader. Hillary Clinton's speech at Eid-al-Fitr in fact sounded the right notes -- she said what so many people have said in their blogs and news comments: Christians, Jews, Buddhists don't go on violent rampages when they are insulted. Nothing justifies violence. But it took Romney's probing statements to shake the Obama Administration to saying just that finally -- when they should have opened with it.
I rarely get on my Prokofy twitter these days, I just find so many more topics interesting than Second Life, to be honest, and tend to blog more on my other blogs as a result. When I logged on the other day, I saw Cristiano served up to me as "People You May Want to Follow". Half the time Twitter, like Facebook, serves up enemies!
So I thought to myself, maybe I will follow Cristiano, because perhaps his feed has the news that is actually contained in some of the threads on his site. I do go back now and then to read Sluniverse just to find out the real story on mesh or the JIRA or whatever -- and sadly, it's where you have to go to see Rodvik's sparse commentary to the community, such as it is.
But then I discovered that his feed was filled with stupid, lame bashes on the GOP. Ignorance. Hatred. Just stupid. It's like a male bonding ritual.So I told him off -- it was really proof positive that there is no freedom or pluralism at Sluniverse.com and it is a rigid cult.
Later inworld, Cocoanut IM'd me about getting some land. I hadn't heard from her in months, I don't think she's been logging on as she's been busy with other things. She mentioned this hateful thread on Slun asking whether people would vote for Romney (silly, because we know in advance there'd be only "one" or "two" in the "yes" column), and once again that puny little loser Joshua Nightshade was harassing her ("90 pounds of boy inside 100 pounds of dick" to quote a variation on what was so aptly said about Tizzers). He was even calling her foul words, hiding behind Australian usage. Nothing ever changes there. That little cunt -- to use the British usage, you know! -- sent Cocoanut a picture of my door he got from a griefer once, and ever since has been squealing in self-justifying rage at everyone pointed out that this is *just another form of griefing, der*. Child abusers have, among their repertoire, habits like over-anticipating that their victims might be cold and putting on their mittens. This pattern of behavior is well known. Joshua either entirely concocted the story, or injected himself as "hero reporter" into the story and acted as if he was a good samaritan -- when he isn't. He never revealed the name of the griefer, which could have been useful. He claimed to file an AR. But when *I* described this all to a savvy Linden, that Linden *rolled their eyes* literally in hearing his alibi. He involved Cocoanut as part of another tactic that terrorists use -- get someone to do something that will upset their friend and be coerced into a griefing stunt. It all stinks. And the more honest and intelligent sorts on Sluniverse.com get it, because Joshua has perpetrated these stunts on others.
I didn't give any brief to Cocoanut to start a thread -- we only spoke AFTER she happened to go and get involved in this thread on Sluniverse, and only I HAPPENED to remark to Cristiano that he was a jerk on Twitter.
When Jack Abraham made a reasonable and sound statement on why he was voting for Romney, the harpies of Slun went after him. Ridiculing, associating him with their caricatures like Rush Limbaugh. Never answering substantively, then accusing him of being unwilling to debate them.
Well, leave Sluniverse to its own fate, it is not emblematic of any Better World, it is not an experiment in good governance in the virtual world, it's not even a very interesting discussion board. Not with only one rigid point of view!
P.S. I forgot to respond to Chip Midnight's screed on Slun. He thinks that he's achieved some grand "gotcha" by calling me out as a right-winger when I called him, Enabran and Cristiano right-wingers back in the day.
Note that he skips over the problem of Enabran -- Enabran was always pronouncing very clear right-wing views on the old forums and seemed to be a Ron Paul type of nerd.
As for Chip and Cristiano, if they turn out to be "progressives" on the authoritarian part of the grid -- that part that the biased Compass doesn't even show -- great, but here's why these seem like conservatives, even creator-fascists:
1. Chip would constantly stump for a privileged class of creators -- yes, Second Life should be a Renaissance Fair, where the creators had special booths and privileges and the rest of us rubes just came and gawked or bought their trinkets. Wasn't Chip for the idea, purveyed by another creator-fascist Cienna Samiam, who called for creators to be exempt from texture upload fees? Chip would constantly advocate against land barons on the forums, against the more democratic and accessible telehubs, because it ruined his privileged oldbie oligarch position. Indeed he was conservative, in the sense of wanting "no business but my business". He favoured a crackdown on any free speakers on the forums who criticized his class, and he was for maintaining his class privileges. A smug and not terribly bright guy who is typical of the clutchy and oppressive merchant class in these games and worlds
2. Cristiano was much the same, but went even further in trying to control the advertisement of island parcels. He was furious that new tools made it (then) possible to put parcels, not entire islands, out to rent, and thereby enlarged the economy and enlarged the share of it going to land barons. As a creator-fascist and guild-meister of the FIC, he was outraged that anyone else get at the SL economic pie. He was also opposed to telehubs. He has all these years maintained class privilege for this strange amalgam of licentious and hedonistic hippiedom and libertarian orthodoxy that you find in the Sluniverse public.
When all you can see of a person is their Second Life behaviour and you don't discuss with them all their other beliefs, they can appear a certain way. And even seeing now that Chip is an Obama voter, for gay rights, etc. etc. I don't change my assessment -- he is a libertarian only for his own class, and oppressive as to freedom for the rest of us. He is not for a truly free economy or free enterprise.
There might be an interesting debate about whether this is merely a tactic of class warfare, and not really a political position, but who wants to have it with Chip Midnight? He's an ass. As for Cristiano, he bans people who criticize his special ones, including his buddy Joshua Nightshade and the curious harridan Weedy Herbst, who has in any event disappeared from the scene.