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Graham O'Connor (Gekko)
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Graham O'Connor (Gekko)

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Lol, if she did this my respect for her would probably rise from absolutely none to virtually none.
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Graham O'Connor (Gekko)

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Dissent to ultimately be punishable by death. Comply citizen!
• Dr Jarrod Gilbert is a sociologist at the University of Canterbury and the lead researcher at Independent Research Solutions. He is an award-winning writer who specialises - New Zealand Herald
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Graham O'Connor (Gekko)

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Honestly, there seems no end to this insanity
 
Dear Government,

STOP F?(%ING KILLING PEOPLE.

You f?(%ing jerks.

Love,
F?(%ING EVERYONE


Via +Christian Gruber​
A US air strike killed nearly 60 civilians, including children, in Syria on Tuesday after the coalition mistook them for Islamic State fighters.
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Graham O'Connor (Gekko)

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Ok, quite a few people have asked my opinion on Brexit, particularly as an expat in NZ. I don't vote (for reasons that would take a while to explain) and even if I could I've been out of the UK for too long to be eligible anyway. But here goes an attempt, coloured as it is by my not having lived in the UK for many years.

I am not going to dig much into the various arguments that either side has presented, partly because I think much of it is irrelevant but also because I have nothing of any real value to add to the oceans of crap that has already spewed forth from the interwebs. The issue is too complex to form a reliable evidentiary opinion, and I would find it hard to believe that anybody has a real understanding of the implications, regardless their bluster. Please feel free to correct me. So, with the exception of a comment on economics below, I will try to look at the issue from my own principles rather than any pragmatic concerns of who will win or lose if the lolly scramble stops.

My sympathies lie most definitely with Brexit. I was only 6 when the UK joined the Common Market. The EU has come a long way since that time and, as someone who believes that governance should be devolved to the lowest possible level (and ultimately to the individual), I see that it has turned into exactly the kind of bloated socialist monster of central planning that I despise. Centralisation of power is antithetical to human freedom and flourishing, regardless of the fact that some clearly benefit from it at the expense of others.

From a practical position I don't understand what the EU as a political entity achieves. Geopolitically it appears to be an unnecessary complement to the UN, while economically it doesn't appear to provide anything that couldn't have been achieved through bi-lateral managed trade agreements between European nation states ('free trade' is the black market). There is no compelling reason that I can see to give up local sovereignty, and certainly no reason to implement what is effectively an undemocratic supra-national state with legislative capability that supersedes those of the member nations. The long term goal of the EU (whether openly stated or not) is clearly evolving towards achieving both political and economic union of the member states and in the process to ultimately become a sovereign state in its own right. I can only imagine that at best the member nations will exist much as the US states do with respect to fedgov, and at worst be reduced to mere cultural principalities. This Borg-like assimilation and forced conformity goes against everything that was the glory of Europe, the cultural and ethnic diversity that made it such a melting pot for creativity and Western civilisation.

Europe as a geopolitical group of nations will survive (barring any catastrophic conflict) but I think the EU is ultimately doomed, the seeds of its destruction were sown at its birth. I strongly believe the UK has done the best thing in getting out before the music stops so that it has a chance to build upon its heritage as a maritime trading nation and create its own independent trade links with the world, including the EU where appropriate. As with many dynamic complex systems, diversity and heterogeneity are a strength.

Economically I am not qualified to comment as to whether Britain will be better or worse off out of the EU, and anyone who does try to tell you is either deluded or lying. Economics is a social science, primarily of human action concerning the choices people make with the resources they have available based upon subjective valuations. Implicit in these choices is the concept of opportunity cost, the array of alternative choices that could have made but weren't. As pointed out by the 19C French economist Bastiat in his essay "What Is Seen And What Is Not Seen", properly understanding economics is to account for not only the direct benefit of a transaction but also the unseen opportunity costs that were incurred in the choice. Since we don't know what the opportunity costs are for the EU, it is essentially a futile exercise to say whether the EU has been a net benefit overall or not.

Of course lots of vested interests will be hurt in the short term as markets adjust and capital redistributes according to the new order. The net beneficiaries of redistributed resources will be hurt the worst and clearly those are the voices you will hear screaming the loudest: politicians, bankers, corporations, politically favoured groups. The EU is a gravy train of redistribution following Hayek’s playbook Road to Serfdom, another attempt at socialist central planning that yet again is showing itself to be unsustainable.

What I actually found most surprising about the whole issue was not so much Brexit itself but the intolerance shown towards dissenting opinion, particularly by the Bremain camp. The campaign from both sides was hardly whiter than white, but the sneering attempt by Bremain to cast anyone who disagreed with the socially acceptable opinion of the political elites as racist/bigoted/xenophobic/ignorant was simply breath-taking. Even as essentially a non-binding opinion poll the lack of respect for voters and (in calling for a second referendum) the result of a valid democratic process was disappointing to say the least. I was reminded of 1984, with the division between the enlightened Party members and the dumb proles.

My personal peeve was the whiny millennials, brought up in govt schools on a progressive egalitarian diet of everyone gets a prize, simply couldn't deal with the reality of what their beloved democracy had presented them with - someone actually telling them they were wrong, that they had lost and that they wouldn't get a prize that day. It never occurred to the self-centred little loves that maybe the older people whose opinion they were so intolerant of knew something they didn't; that maybe they'd experienced a different Europe to the bloated authoritarian bureaucracy that they had watched it turn into over 40 years, and that perhaps they were actually voting for their grandchildren’s future rather than their own as they were unlikely to reap the benefits in the years they had left. I'm very glad that there wasn't a second referendum as it would likely have signalled the end of something much more important than ending membership of a dying politico-economic experiment, it would've signalled a departure from Britain’s respect for democratic principles enshrined in the national culture for centuries.

I found it interesting that in calling for a second referendum the younger generations were simply copying the tactics of the EU itself - when a vote gets the 'wrong' answer you simply keep replaying the vote until you get the answer you were looking for. They have unconsciously absorbed the EUs message of authoritarianism, its intolerance of dissenting voices and its selfish determination to get its own way regardless. It's rather ironic that such antisocial ideas were what the EU was supposedly against, but such is the seductive nature of power, and why centralisation of power is corrupting and must be resisted. Hence my support for Brexit.
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Graham O'Connor (Gekko)'s profile photoTibor Incze's profile photo
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Yeah I've heard of UKIP and just now have read more about them. In their conception in 1991, they only won a very small percentage of support, whereas by 2004 they were starting to become more popular. But it was the issue of immigration, and I'd say in particular refugee crisis that made them popular. One ideology of theirs I do agree with is the US shouldn't have gotten involved in Syria's mess, and maybe we wouldn't be where we are now. Sadly for many rulers with zero ethics, there's lots of money to be made from war. :(
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Graham O'Connor (Gekko)

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I like this formulation - it speaks to a deeper sense of self.
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Graham O'Connor (Gekko)

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I honestly don't know what to make of this. Is this child just overly emotional? Or has he recently been schooled in environmental disater porn?
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Kids get emotional about a lot of things - it's how it works. For what it's worth, I appreciate his direction.

For emotions:

http://www.sunnyskyz.com/blog/119/36-Reasons-My-Kid-Is-Crying-Temper-Tantrums-You-Can-t-Help-But-Laugh-At
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Graham O'Connor (Gekko)

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This. And not just American hypocrisy. The overall silence is deafening.
 
American hypocrisy, apathy, and immorality.
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Graham O'Connor (Gekko)

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Well this is rather disappointing. The post linked below appeared from a humanitarian website that I previously had some level of respect for. They appeared to do good work in highlighting injustice and rights violations, particularly in regard to animals, and generally seemed to have a mission for some kind of positive change in the world. Sadly, that mission now appears to include racism, albeit under the guise of 'social justice'.

Given the recent heightened racial issues around the world, not only in Europe as a result of tensions created by immigration and in the UK as a result of the venal campaigns as part of Brexit, but also in the US, this kind of nonsense simply stokes up racial discontent. I therefore have even less patience than usual for these kind of attempts to create division and hate.

Typical as it is of poisonous post-modern cultural Marxism, this variant on privilege theory could simply be dismissed as a logical fallacy, using actual racism to decry perceived racism. But it’s trying to say something, has (somewhat unsurprisingly) a long academic pedigree and is a pervasive meme in the SJW parallel universe so it bears a little more understanding. I won't go through the points in the post directly, especially as some of them are difficult to take seriously.

At best 'white privilege' can be seen as a call for recognition that the dominant culture in a society enjoys certain advantages (social, linguistic, economic) that are not necessarily or easily accessible to those who are not part of that culture. In some sense this is obvious, and will apply to any majority homogeneous culture in the world. For example it's unsurprising to see a majority of Japanese people speaking Japanese on TV in Japan. Whether that is actually a cultural privilege to those that are part of the dominant group, and whether such dominance implies actual or perceived injustice (e.g. systemic racism) are open questions. At the very least the sentiment that we should be tolerant and understanding of others is a noble one but one that should apply universally, and not be a requirement only of those that are part of the dominant culture.

However cultural dominance such as it is does not make it specifically a 'white' privilege. Any society where there is a certain amount of cultural homogeneity will tend to exhibit 'privilege', if it is understood as a cultural advantage. Perhaps there are other factors that determine privilege too. For example even in western countries Asians do better than whites in terms of IQ, income, divorce rates, crime and incarceration yet I see no attempt to claim that they have Asian privilege. The use of the term privilege is itself intentionally emotive and suggestive of luxury or greed, particularly at the expense of another, rather than the ‘privilege’ actually being a right to which all are entitled but which some are unable to achieve for whatever reason. Many even in the dominant culture do not have equal access to everything the culture has to offer.

To accuse an entire culture of being guilty of creating a subjectively perceived outcome, even though individuals may personally have had no part in creating it or be unable to change it is bad enough. It's original sin, you are guilty of privilege (and therefore of some implied harm) simply by virtue of being alive with particular attributes (e.g. location, IQ, wealth). To restrict that opprobrium to a particular race, and not even a race that could claim to be the most privileged by any sensible definition, reveals it to be little more than a thinly disguised and venal use of racism to tap into the deep vein of pathological white altruism to effect a transfer of resources. It is somewhat similar in strategy to its stablemate rape culture meme that brands all men as rapists simply by virtue of being male.

I do not accept SJW hate guilt. I am a person to whom race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and all the myriad classifications that are otherwise used to divide us, are irrelevant. I believe that we all have equal ethical status as individual human beings, and consequently that we have (and only have) equal and reciprocal rights with respect to each other. There are no exceptions to this. I believe that we should act towards each other with the dignity and respect that such equality would suggest. It does not mean that I owe anyone an unconsented duty other than mutual recognition of our humanity, and certainly not because of the colour of my skin. It does not mean that I am responsible for a social outcome that didn't match the preferences of someone else, especially if I have had no part in creating it or preventing it.

Of course this is exactly the kind of response that the article, in a cynically sophistic if somewhat question-begging move, tries to disarm right at the start: only someone with white privilege could possibly complain about being accused of having white privilege. Well guess what Care2.com - I'm your perfect target in that regard. I am the very lowest of the low in the SJW hate-stack, having the audacity to even exist as an able-bodied, heterosexual, CIS-gendered, middle-aged, middle-class, AWM. You might be able to guilt your other white readers into donating to your causes with this kind of manipulative and racist propaganda, but not this one. So I call your divisive bullshit, and I certainly don't donate to or associate with racists. Sorry, it's against my social justice principles.

Since white people don't always recognize the privileges that society affords them, let's show them some examples.
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Graham O'Connor (Gekko)

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If you need laws to be a decent human being...
you are NOT a decent human being.

You're just a psychopath on a leash.
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