The news has been spending a lot of time on the empty spaces left behind by the confederate statues that have already been removed, while other battles rage on to get others taken down. And I have to say... I think there is an easy solution.
Replace them with nothing.
I have been saying this since the controversy began. We cannot predict what people are going to be offended by in 5, 10, 15, 20 years. And these replacements cost money, especially when people vandalize the statues - and the state tells them it's alright to do so - to make a point only they get.
People laugh when I say these things, but I had my point proven last weekend while talking to attendees of the feminist training.
A local college campus here has been under fire because of a confederate statue the students want taken down. "Silent Sam" has been big news for a very long time, and as of today, he still stands on the campus.
Somehow, "Silent Sam" became part of the break discussion, and one of the students was there. She told us a new statue was erected on campus. A giant spider.
This made me laugh, at first thinking they were kidding. Once it was established they were not, I looked it up. Truth be told... it's a spider, alright. But it's actually not a bad looking one. I think the artwork on it is actually very creative and it's sort of natural looking.
My first thought was, of course, that this was an excellent idea. Having natural looking artwork of wildlife is the most non-offensive thing I could think of, and maybe this would be a better idea than replacing statues with nothing. I mean, it still gives some decoration to the areas, and it would employ local artists. We have a bad track record with "art" around these parts, plastering areas with the most hideous sculptures you could imagine, creating eye sores that no one wants to call out in fear of being called uncultured. But if they could keep on the same track as this spider, it would really add something to the grounds!
Then my ears heard what I didn't believe they would ever hear. A lot of the attendees were offended. By this big, benign spider. They would like it removed.
One woman suggested moving the spider so it looked like it was eating "Silent Sam." And for the pure humor of that concept, I was 100% behind that! That's funny, right there!
But no. The other women wanted to remove it because the campus is a safe space, and those who fear spiders won't feel safe there.
Never mind that the campus has a lot of open, natural areas... and there are actual spiders everywhere. Heck, a lot of those spiders are venomous. I don't think the giant spider sculpture is what they should be afraid of! He's friendly, non-venomous, and doesn't eat much. And he's a statue.
I suggested flower pots to replace the statues but was reminded about people with allergies. So I am back to replace them with nothing. In Durham, where they tore the statue down, I'd blast the words off the stone and then leave it. Open alcoves where statues were removed... remove the others and leave all the alcoves empty. Remove all the statues. All of them. Don't care who or what they are. Leave empty spaces, barren pedestals, and bald lawns. Approve no artwork or sculpture to be put there at all, for any reason. Any put up without approval should be removed immediately. And when people ask, be honest. We can't predict the ever changing landscape of deep offense, and to save tuition money/tax payer dollars/etc., we have decided to leave these spaces completely barren to avoid the cost of appeasing everyone's sensitivities.
Got into an argument about the FCC and the licensing of radio stations with a random "right winger" yesterday, and the whole argument boggles my mind. It's over now because she reverted to tossing insults because she couldn't back up her stance. Wonder where she learned that technique?
Let me be clear. The FCC is one of those government agencies that shouldn't exist, as far as I am concerned. The whole idea of needing government approval for things like a radio station is ridiculous. We license way too much in this country that doesn't need licensing, and it should be considered a violation of your 1st amendment rights.
With that said, me and this girl agreed on that premise. Where we disagreed was on how to handle it. She was all for ignoring laws that she finds "unjust," while I supported getting the laws changed and shutting down the useless government agency.
Now, you can ignore whatever you want. It doesn't stop the fact that you'll get fined or jailed for doing so. It's a law. And whether you think you can ignore it for being unjust or not is irrelevant. There will be consequences you need to be willing to live with. You don't get to say, "It's unjust" and have the judge just throw it out. Sorry, that's called fantasy land. I'm living in the real world, join me.
The problem with her argument - and what she didn't grasp - is that it is the same issue as so many other things. Who decides what is unjust? What you find unjust, someone else finds perfectly reasonable. So if you think you can ignore unjust laws....
You don't have a leg to stand on against sanctuary cities.
Actually, you don't have a leg to stand on against anything. If someone breaks into your house while you are out and cleans you out, you better not call the police. The guy who robbed you thinks it is unjust that it is illegal for him to break into your home and steal your TV. You have a TV and he doesn't. That isn't fair! Oh, someone murdered a loved one of yours? Better not call the cops! He thinks anti-murder laws are unjust!
But back to the sanctuary cities. Let's face it, a lot of folks out there think not having open borders in unjust. "No person is illegal." And they are, in fact, ignoring immigration laws. That's why we have so many illegal aliens in the country, and it's why sanctuary cities exist. Now, I disagree with them. I don't believe a nation with open borders is a nation at all, and that we have a right to know who is coming into our country. I believe we should have a say in who comes in. I don't support cutting off immigration completely, but I do believe we have a right to say no sometimes. I think allowing people in without vetting them is unjust because it destroys our sovereignty. There are people who also believe all immigration should be stopped because we're running out of room and have our own people to take care of.
Who's right? Who gets to decide? Which laws are OK to ignore here?
What I'm saying here, basically, is that when you find an unjust law, ignoring it isn't effective. You are open to the consequences of doing so, like it or not. It doesn't make you some kind of tough guy because you "took a stand" no one will hear about and will effect nothing. What it does is remove all of your arguments. You now can't take a stand against things you disagree with, because you've set the precedent that ignoring what you see as unjust is alright, and everyone has a different view of what is unjust. And no, you aren't the decider. You are nobody.
This is why we want to drain the swamp. Start voting. And that means stop voting for the same junk that's already in office. Run for office yourself. Get the laws changed that you think are unjust. Stop thinking you can ignore what you don't like and someone else should do something about it. This is the real world. Ignoring laws just makes you a lazy criminal. Fighting to get them changed any way you can causes real change. So stop being what you claim to hate.
I'm not even going to lie, you guys. When I heard this morning that Aretha Franklin was gone I got a major lump in my throat, even though we knew it was coming. I grew up lip syncing her songs in the mirror. Many of us did. She is an American icon and the world is a little worse off now that she's gone.
My thoughts and prayers to her family. But Heaven's choir just got a little better.
This is from my latest video on YouTube. This is my dashboard, where I read the comments from viewers.
Metal Head 420 there is one of my regular viewers. He rarely misses commenting on my videos. Because he's an avid viewer, I have him set in my system to automatically approve all comments. I have several people I do this for because they do comment a lot, and most of those people have been shoved into spam or something at some point in time.
Now, here's the comment section on the actual video, what my viewers see:
Notice a problem?
As you can see, it says right there that there are five comments on the video. Me and and Metal Head 420 had a conversation, as usual. As you can also see, only one comment is publicly visible. And it isn't from Metal Head 420.
There is absolutely nothing I can do here. In my dashboard, his comments are published and public, but in actuality, they aren't. I don't know how or why this is a thing, but I can't fix it, and this is not the first time this has happened with this exact same commenter. His comments rarely actually show up for public view on my videos.
He has, on occasion, said things that some might see as being controversial. But I don't delete or hide those comments. I don't delete or hide comments - or ban commenters - unless they start threatening me or my viewers or start harassing (only once; a woman left 37 comments on a video because no one was taking her bait and fighting with her. In reality, no one understood what she was saying in her comments). This decision is mine, because I believe people have a right to their opinions. I've had people leave comments on my videos that were worse by leaps and strides than anything this commenter has left on any of my videos. Some of these comments make me cringe, but I leave them anyway.
That should be my decision. It's my video. The video is actually monetized, so YouTube is ok with it. Nothing he said was offensive or controversial. So why is the comment hidden and unhideable? Why am I being lead to believe, through my dashboard, that his comments are publicly visible when in reality they are not?
But no, shadow banning isn't a thing. Right.
Read about it here.
I don't spend a lot of time talking about the transgender community because, to be honest, 98% of the issues that come up with them fall under "doesn't effect my life." And when things aren't hurting anyone else or effecting anyone else, I tend to just leave it alone.
This bothered me, so I wanted to say something about it.
Basically, a court ruled that transgender surgeries have to be paid for under medicaid because they are medically necessary due to their gender dysphoria. It is considered a treatment. The argument is that not covering the surgery violates the Affordable Care Act.
Last year, I had an endometrial biopsy. My doctor was very concerned that I might have uterine cancer. So I had all the standard yearly tests, then came back in for the biopsy.
Imagine my surprise when I got a bill. The yearly stuff was covered, the biopsy was not. So I had to pay for that out of pocket. I guess checking to see if I have cancer isn't medically necessary?
Because of the nature of the biopsy, I was also made to have a pregnancy test before the biopsy was done. I didn't need the pregnancy test, but it was required. That wasn't covered, either!
My father was on medicare. He was diagnosed with brain cancer. Not a damn bit of it was covered. From surgeries to treatment to prescriptions, it was all paid for out of pocket. My parents had to get a grant to pay for his treatment. I guess none of that was medically necessary, either.
Look, I don't normally care what people do with themselves. If you are a man and want to be a woman, you do you. I really don't care. But this effects others. This is tax payer money going to your surgery. And in the meantime, the insurance I pay for wouldn't cover a test to see if I had cancer. None of my father's treatments were covered, and those treatments were life and death. So yeah, I have a problem with this. A huge problem.