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Jaicee

Where do you stand politically?

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Sorry, I know it's been a while since I've been here now. I've meant to visit more but life has just kept getting in the way since that winter storm that knocked out my state's power grid back in February. I had no choice (financially) but to keep going to work throughout that and the store I work at was on back-up generators for two days so wasn't able to open. That left me with lots of spare time to do little more than just sit/stand around chatting with the few other people who bothered coming in and one of them was a new hire (what a time to start, right?!). The two of us just clicked and since then we've become an item. I'm all vaccinated now and everything too, so we've finally gotten the chance to start going on formal dates. Anyway, that all's tied up a lot of my leisure time of late, and that which I haven't spent in some way involved with her either directly or indirectly has been spent on other forums I've been frequenting longer and have developed a more established presence on and investment in. Sorry about that! I have enjoyed my time here so far!

Anyway, just wanted to get to know everyone a little better than I've been able to up to now. Where would you say you stand on the political spectrum?

Personally, I don't really and truly feel like there's one political label that truly sums up my overarching worldview, but I will say that I regard myself as pretty far to the left when it comes to the sorts of economic policies I feel should be in place and a little less far to the left maybe -- sorta center-left -- when it comes to my opinions regarding like the culture wars and such.

Personally, I hate capitalism. Have for basically my whole life really. Maybe it can be chalked up to the fact that I've spent my whole life struggling economically and I make no claim to really have all the answers (yes I'm aware that "socialist" systems have often yielded terribly authoritarian systems of government and have never proven quite as productive as more market-based approaches to development and sustenance; I'm aware of these problems and am not living in denial thereof), but just everything in me feels like there simply has to be a better way to organize our economy. I don't claim to truly know what it is, but it just has to be possible for us to do better than this. Capitalism is too callous, too unconcerned with those it leaves behind, too exploitative, too atomizing and lonely, too devoid of real purpose, too rapacious toward the natural world, too suffocating of art and culture and the human soul, for me to want to go on living under such conditions. And I mean I try not too about as much as I can within reason for that matter. Most of the movies I get into are indie movies, most of the games I get into are indie games, most of the music I get into is what you might call offbeat and relatively obscure (often also indie), the PBS News Hour remains my favorite daily newscast to this day, etc. etc. I'm just that kind of person who values earnestness and the human soul. Anyway...there has to be a better way than our profit system.

My personal gravitation is in favor of something called communalism, which restructures individual communities such that more or less everything -- at least the means of production -- is owned, controlled, and directly managed by that community as a whole through processes of democratic local planning of production and distribution.

I'm also good with alternative socialistic ideas like a system wherein workplaces are owned and controlled by their workers directly, especially if they're not operated on a for-profit basis. Seriously, I value everything over profit. I think everything else should come first. The survival of working people should come before profits. Ecological sustainability should come before profits. Justice toward consumers should come before profits. Free artistic expression should be valued over profits. Everything is more important than profits, in my opinion. I've come to loathe the whole concept. Though one final alternative I feel okay with would be a simple and more market-friendly approach wherein we simply adopt a reasonably high universal basic income that guarantees everyone that their basic needs will be met and frees them up in terms of both resources and leisure time to like go into any business they might wish to pursue for themselves and we can have a flourishing of small business ventures with lots of active, aggressive trust-busting to break up the ones that become "too big to fail", something like that. That's about as market-friendly as I get though, honestly.

In terms of my social views, I'm one of those GC feminist types (the kind they warned you about!) who has some...issues...with the trajectory of the gender identity movement, particularly with regard to how some of its main public policy goals can negatively impact the rights and interests of the most vulnerable women, such as inmates in women's prisons and shelters for battered women and rare and dying lesbian cultural spaces and other places I have been for example and also who takes a dim view of like the sex and beauty industries and frankly most religions (including a lot of the fashionable minority ones) and so on. I get criticized for my "puritanical, extreme, anti-male, anti-trans" views more than for anything else really (especially on gaming forums for some reason) so I mostly try not to bring them up, or at least not too much,  in most places. It's tough though because I feel strongly about women's issues. Also related: not a big fan of queer theory or critical race theory and intersectionality theory in no small part because I've had so many run-ins with unreasonable social censorship and demands for it that I've become a fairly staunch opponent of what people call cancel culture.

I am also a gun owner (both for hunting and self-defense reasons), which I bring up mostly because that seems to be a negative personal quality to many on the American left today.

I do also also, however, consider myself a supporter of reasonable gun control policies, Black Lives Matter (for the most part anyway), immigration and refugees (for the most part anyway), abortion rights, and I'm against the coronavirus (sorry conservatives). Have never voted for a Republican in my life and still am not tempted to.

Wouldn't call myself a conservative, a moderate, a liberal, or a libertarian, and progressives don't generally wish to be associated with me anymore so I guess it's only respectful of their wishes that I not call myself one of those either. Guess I don't know what I am really. Just an individual person with my own opinions.

How about you (anyone)?

Edited by Jaicee
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While I can't say I agree with everything you said I enjoyed hearing your thoughts.  Your absolutely right about everybody being different.

 

Me personally, I'm probably a bit left of the middle.  I like the idea of communism but I feel that in practice the human animal is to selfish by nature for it to truly work.  In that sense capitalism does make some sense since it's a culture format that encourages people to get off their asses and contribute even if it is selfish at times.

 

When it comes to gun ownership.  Soldiers in war aside I don't think people deserve the power to end another person's life with the ease of pulling a trigger.  People argue self defense but their not defensive weapons at all, their the exact opposite.  The only defense quality is deterrence but other non-lethal alternatives like pepper spray and tasers have that effect to.  I want to make it clear for the record I'm not American, but I do feel there is a bit problem with this in America more than anywhere else.  Part of that comes from the second amendment for the right to "bear arms".  There are however, 2 major with this today.  First is that at the time these were drafted the firearms available were one or two shot guns that took about minimum 30 seconds to reloaded.  The kind of power that firearms have now was incomprehensible at the time.  The second and definitely bigger problem is that again, at the time they were drafted, America was governed by frontier law.  The only defense people settling in against bandits of native American raiders was themselves of maybe a few sheriff's at best.  So it made sense back then but now the country has a judicial system and police to enforce the law it doesn't.  Now I'm not that judicial system is perfect by any means (it clearly isn't), but if you look at other countries like the UK, Japan and most of mainland Europe where guns are for the most part banned they don't have anywhere near the same level of problems.  The second amendment should at least be updated.

 

I'm 100% for LGBTQ rights.  I'm for religious freedom too but in circumstances when these two work against each other I'll support LGBTQ every time because one's religious beliefs and practices are a choice, being gay or trans is not.  I can't stand that dumbass transphobic bathroom argument that people seem to think is valid.  If it comes to a toss up between a cis woman being uncomfortable with a trans women sitting the next cubicle and that same trans woman putting herself in VERY REAL risk of being abused, assaulted, raped or murdered by using the men public bathroom bathroom then as far as I'm concerned you can sit there and be uncomfortable.

 

Where I do tend swings bit more to the right is in some local issues.  I don't think Scotland should be independent, although I'm against Brexit the BBC were totally wrong in their bias coverage against it and their licence fee policy's.

 

Well that's my contribution to pissing people of for the day.

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I'm a hardcore liberal Democrat. That will never change. I support transgender rights, and view anyone who doesn't as a fucking bigot. I'm also a gun owner. I have several handguns, and several rifles including an AR-15. I carry a .357 Magnum with me everywhere I go. I keep a handgun in every room of my house. If someone breaks into my house, I will kill them. It is my 100% intention to end their life, and I will not stop firing until I know they are dead. And I've gone on record with the local law with that statement. Also it is my legal right to use deadly force to protect my home, within my home. There is nothing in this house worth dying for.

That all said, out internal structure needs a hell of a lot of reworking. So much of it is broken. Parts of the constitution need to be rewritten, many on the bill of rights. When it was written they put freedom of religion in the first amendment, but they didn't bother to clarify what they meant by that. Freedom of religion..... as long as your xtian. You can be catholic, baptist, methodist, lutheran, pentecostal, presbyterian, or any other form or protestant. Non-xtian religions are sometimes tolerated, but not protected by the constitution. If you think they are then tell me how many Jewish and Muslim presidents we have had. Tell me how good Muslims had it starting on September 12th. Tell me why so many Synagogues are constantly cleaning swastikas off their doors. And tell me why people have decided that as a Satanist, I supposedly sacrifice babies to their devil then eat their flesh?

I will never under any circumstance support anything the republiKKKlans try to do, because it has never once benefited the public. Only the corporations that are backing the traitorous bastards. Look at the last two republiKKKlan presidents. Bush threw us into the worst recession since the great depression. And I don't even have to say anything about Adolf. They use their bigotry and stupidity to lead their actions, and no republiKKKlan is an exception. Load them all on a boat. Throw them overboard in the middle of the Pacific. Any that make it to shore get to live until the next morning when their next challenge begins. Maybe throw them in a pit with a bunch of hungry carnivores and a piece of speaker wire dangling in there for them to use as a rope to climb out. Survivors get to rest until the next morning. Spread it around the most dangerous prison in the world that they rape babies, and put them in genpop for at minimum 6 months. If they survive, they get a one day rest until their next challenge. I can keep going on, but I think you get the point.

I'm not special. My animosity leads my views a lot too. But you know what? I'm not a politician, so it really isn't going to affect anyone unless they're someone I hate. I know there are several people here who can't stand me. I can't think of any names off the top of my head, but I know they're here. And I'm sure there will be even more after reading this post. But they can all kiss my lily white ass.

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2 hours ago, The Blackangel said:

 

I'm not special. My animosity leads my views a lot too. But you know what? I'm not a politician, so it really isn't going to affect anyone unless they're someone I hate. I know there are several people here who can't stand me. I can't think of any names off the top of my head, but I know they're here. And I'm sure there will be even more after reading this post. But they can all kiss my lily white ass.

I'll leave the rest of your post alone so you don't like hunt me down and kill me or something, but I'll just say that personally I think you're pretty awesome already, based on what limited amount I know of you anyway. I love your passion about like everything because it tells me that you're an honest person and that's something that's important to me. I'm sure the feeling is hardly mutual (like everyone hates me everywhere, seriously), but nonetheless.

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I have always had the ability to make enemies instead of friends. I was the kid that everyone in school hated. I won't get into how my home life was, because you most likely wouldn't believe me. But needless to say, it was enough that I tried to kill myself more times than I care to try to count.

You're right that I am passionate about many things. Others I am blase about. There's something I have said for many years, that sums things up rather well.

 

Love Me Or Hate Me, But You Will Never Forget Me

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, The Blackangel said:

I have always had the ability to make enemies instead of friends. I was the kid that everyone in school hated. I won't get into how my home life was, because you most likely wouldn't believe me. But needless to say, it was enough that I tried to kill myself more times than I care to try to count.

You're right that I am passionate about many things. Others I am blase about. There's something I have said for many years, that sums things up rather well.

 

Love Me Or Hate Me, But You Will Never Forget Me

Like I said, you strike me as an honest person. Between that and some of my own experiences, I'm inclined to believe you. You're speaking to someone who has attempted suicide twice myself.

And I already couldn't forget you if I tried. 😊

Edited by Jaicee
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I think politics is a failure of civilization. It does not solve anything, it is just trying to convince you that other people are evil.

Politics is like having a committee on how far you should open the tap when you are thirsty. And then another committee decides that we should also maybe close that tap some time.  Wasting a ton of resources in the process, when science could've told you exactly how long and how far you need to open the tap.

I've been born under communist rule, and it is baffling to me why privileged white people from liberal countries would want that. When the "means of production" is owned by everyone it means nobody really owns it. During communism there was no innovation, because there was no incentive for innovation, in fact it was often shunned. Corruption ran rampant in every factory. Not just at  the highest levels, but down to the last low lever blue collar workers, who smuggled out machine parts from factories.

The few domestic manufacturers who worked relatively successfully, did so because they exported products to capitalist countries. But eventually the lack of technological advancement caught up with them and the demand for their outdated products dried up. So when communism ended in 1991, we had nothing to show for it, but a few outdated relics.

 

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I stand for democracy. That makes me anti republican. There is no debate about that. It's all in the bills they are trying to pass and proof of a recent failed coup attempt. If they succeeded we would be in a dictatorship right now. American politics is in a humanitarian crisis. Fuck cancel culture idiocracy. That is a term used to divide us and give oppressors reason to justify their culture war or race war. I don't want socialism. I don't want communism. I don't want fascism. I don't want marxism. I don't want capitalism.

There needs to be a little balance between capitalism where corporations have too much power and socialism where there is too much government dependence. The healthcare complex needs to be broken up and people need better access and affordability. Capitalism needs a bit of reformation. BAN LOBBYING. That's a great start. Corporations have no business giving money to politicians. If it is considered illegal for a politician to sell a product, then it should be illegal to take money as that would be a conflict of interest. Here, let me give you 20 million dollars if you can pass that tax break for my company. The Fuck You bill will prevent that. 

There is no one right way to govern financially. We need a system where corporations can’t fatten politician’s pockets; where the rich pay fair share in taxes; where there are programs to help the poor and middle class. When I say help, I am not referring to money. I am referring to changing the built environment. Sure, that costs money, but so do the roads you drive on. That built environment segregates minorities in gerrymandering lines, and keeps people in poor neighborhoods. Liquor stores and fast food are all over the place, while rural neighborhoods have dry counties. You could call that supply and demand, but really it is a push to addiction in vulnerable communities. Police need to be more diverse across the country and better trained. 

Why do you think republicans are so much against a black person getting a house? Cause it is an invasion to their built environment where the black vote may actually be as strong as their own in a white suburban neighborhood. BAN GERRYMANDERING; which is the distribution of county lines that give white right wingers more representation to their vote. Sure, the left gerrymanders too, but for their higher population density, they aren't nearly represented as much as a red state rural farm country. Reform the electoral college. That is not a democracy. It is designed to give minority rule, not the majority. Our elections shouldn’t be focused on just 13 states or however many in dominantly red states. Democracy is where the majority rules. That’s why republicans are attacking voting across the board. They have no policy unless you call dictatorship a policy.

I am a male and stand with feminists. I hate the toxic male environment which needs to be broken up through diversity. Maybe there should be incentives for companies, positions of authority etc. to hire females as well as minorities. Women should have the right to abortion. I don't know why there is so much controversy over that. They would rather jail a woman over abortion? If the child is born, they could either live in a broken home or live in a foster system where predators have ruined countless lives. Think about that. What causes the least amount of suffering? Abortion, or for the child to grow in who knows what kind of world? And to be pro life without giving a damn about environmental issues and animals that are threatened through industry because they are against regulations??? Another Fuck You traitors. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Reality vs Adventure
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Okay so to respond to some of the implied critiques of opinions I stated in the OP that people have made:

You hate trans people!

I make no claim to know all there is to know about gender identity and it's definitely possible there's simply key knowledge I don't have as yet. To this end, I try to keep an open mind and reserve the right to change my opinion. However, I will say that I actually used to be a lot more supportive of transgenderism than I am today. My current opinion of the gender identity movement has been largely informed by the fact that I've walked through the gender transition experience with a woman who eventually de-transitioned, i.e. reverted back to identifying with her biological sex. She was a friend of mine and I supporter all three of her transitions each step of the way: from identifying as female to non-binary to male and back to female again. As much is more than can be said of her transgender, now-former friends. She found that her experience was unhelpful and psychologically costly in the long run. She wound up turning to gender critical feminism in the end, and so did I along with her. We're still good friends to this day.

I've come to view gender as an industry. It's a concept that has been popularized in recent decades for the purpose of replacing the more objective, material notion of biological sex with subjective constructs that have to be bought. Medicalization of the subject (preferably in childhood at that) is curiously vital to de-pathologizing trans identities and this I find disturbing. If becoming and remaining your natural self requires you (or your parents, as the case may be) to pay for puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and even sex reassignment surgeries sometimes...well that just doesn't strike me as realistically a very natural at all. Likewise, I find it similarly curious and disturbing that gender identity practically only exists among lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. I'm primarily concerned for the mental-emotional well-being of trans-identified people.

The way it strikes me is that gender identity is an industry capitalizing on the insecurities that mostly gay and lesbian and bisexual people have and co-opting our language to engineer social movements of their own that create demand for their products. When gay and lesbian people successfully got the psychiatric community de-pathologize sexual orientation, the demand was for it to be DE-medicalized. And I've noticed that the ascendancy of the gender identity movement into the cultural mainstream over the course of recent decades (but especially this last one) in this country has overlapped with the disappearance of lesbian cultural life. As Katie Herzog has aptly pointed out, there is a direct relationship between those two things. As the lesbian bars and night clubs and other lesbian-specific and lesbian-identified cultural spaces (including the annual Michigan Womyn's Music Festival I used to enjoy attending before trans activists got it cancelled in 2015) have vanished, more and more young lesbians and bisexual girls and young women have begun "coming out" as queer and non-binary and transmen instead, whatever any of that even means. That sense of cultural identity as lesbians existed for a reason. It was important. It needed to be there. Without it, I wouldn't have had the courage to come out as lesbian myself. I can only imagine what young lesbians today must go through in the absence of any kind of autonomous cultural identity or exclusive safe spaces of their own. Now there is something else more fashionable, and more profitable for a whole new industry, for young lesbians to come out as instead.

What I find even more disturbing though is the now-commonplace insistence that trans-identified people and biological women cannot and should not both enjoy basic rights, such as rights to safety, privacy, fair play, and freedom of speech and assembly. Rather, compromising the rights of women seems to be a goal of central importance to the gender identity movement despite the real-world examples of countries that already have state policies establishing separate, specialized shelters for women and trans people and likewise separate and specialized prisons for women and trans-identified inmates, for instance, such as to prevent transwomen from facing harassment and violence in men's prisons, but without compromising the safety of women by transferring convicted "not male" rapists to women's prisons. Why cannot such model policy simply be replicated here? Why is there a need to erase all sex-based rights here, and for girls and women in particular?

You're a communist! Why do you back the old Soviet Union?!

The word I used to describe my preferred form of socialist reorganization was actually communalist. I feel that this note is important to make because I don't at all consider myself a Marxist or a proponent of Soviet style "socialism". I'm absolutely against police states and all-powerful bureaucracies. Personally, I don't even see the old Soviet system as authentically socialist at all. These systems involved much state ownership to be sure, but the key thing to recognize is that the state itself was private property (in this case of a particular political party) in the same way that feudal systems privatize the state by bringing it under the exclusive ownership of a landed gentry or particular family or religious institution, for example. Social ownership and control -- including of the government -- is a crucial and defining component-part of socialism in my book. Political democracy, to the extent that it actually brings the public itself into control of the policies and machinations of the government, is, put in economic terms, public ownership and management of the state. Thus are democracy and socialism absolutely inseparable things in my view of it. There is no such thing as legitimate socialism that doesn't revolve around a democratic decision-making process. There exist democratic socialists and there exist fake socialists. That is all.

You own firearms. You support gun violence!

Not at all! I own hunting rifles for survival, so I can eat. I live in a very small town near a wooded area. Most people here live near or below the poverty line and hunger is a common problem. Speaking for myself, it's often been the case that charity came up short or my food stamps ran out or that I just got tired of relying on handouts and found it demeaning, frankly. It's commonplace for people here to hunt for food in the woods. I do so when the sorts of things I've just described happen to me. Without that option, I would definitely wind up going without meals more often. It's simply not practical or reasonable to ask people around here to jettison such options. It just isn't.

I also own hand guns for my own peace of mind because I've been in life-threatening situations before where one might've come in handy --  not even as a killing device necessarily, but just as an instrument of intimidation that could potentially get one out of a deadly scenario. I'm sorry but pepper spray just doesn't have the same impact. I have a license and have been around firearms my whole life. I know best practices. Maybe my hand guns keep me safer and maybe they don't, but what they do give me regardless is a heightened peace of mind. Now I understand that as much cannot be said of everyone. Not everyone knows or engages in best practices and there are unfortunately loopholes in our legal codes that often allow criminals and others who simply shouldn't have access to these sorts of deadly weapons to acquire them. I am in favor of closing those loopholes and for improving background checks for gun purchases in general.

As to like assault rifles, I don't own or need those and nobody else needs them either. Those are weapons of war solely useful for killing large numbers of people, as in mass shootings. I am fine with straight-up banning the future sale of these weapons. That position is one of extreme controversy in my community where these sorts of weapons are often used as part of the local cultural life for entertainment purposes (like blowing shit to kingdom come for the hell of doing so; something that simply feels gratifying to do) and because some people here can be paranoid and some really do think that there might need to be another civil war in this country at some point that they'd like to be prepared for. I'm not of that mindset. These weapons have simply cost far too many innocent people their lives for entertainment value and irrational fear of urban dwellers to justify their legality, in my view.

I think it's best not to assume that people who live differently than you are dangerous or less rational because they do so or that they generally stake out political positions in bad faith.

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If anyone has said you're anti-transgender I have to agree with them. You're extremely narrow minded, and often close minded. Just because you have a friend who struggled with their gender identity doesn't mean that either of you know the true struggle that transgender people face. Not to be insulting but, the both of you are completely ignorant of transgender issues. You're an outsider looking in with tunnel vision. From that standpoint you can't see everything that's inside, because you have chosen to limit your vision.

It's really pathetic that you're bitching about a people that you don't even know, and haven't even truly met. Whining and claiming that transgender people are pushing lesbians out so they can come in is an extremely bigoted statement.

You and I will disagree on many things, but I will still respect your right to believe what you believe.

The fourth tenet of TST states:

IV - The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo one's own.

Edited by The Blackangel
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1 hour ago, The Blackangel said:

The fourth tenet of TST states:

IV - The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo one's own.

 

Satanism is starting to sound listen like my kind of religion.

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1 minute ago, Crazycrab said:

Satanism is starting to sound listen like my kind of religion.

If you have any questions just ask. I'm not spokesperson for TST, that's Lucien. But, if I can, I'll answer any you have. I can't remember if I have posted them anywhere before, but here are the 7 tenets of TST, and here's the website.

The Satanic Temple

1) One should strive to act with compassion and empathy toward all creatures in accordance with reason.

2) The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions.

3) One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.

4) The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo one's own.

5) Beliefs should conform to one's best scientific understanding of the world. One should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit one's beliefs.

6) People are fallible. If one makes a mistake, one should do one's best to rectify it and resolve any harm that might have been caused.

7) Every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word.

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5 minutes ago, The Blackangel said:

If you have any questions just ask. I'm not spokesperson for TST, that's Lucien. But, if I can, I'll answer any you have. I can't remember if I have posted them anywhere before, but here are the 7 tenets of TST, and here's the website.

The Satanic Temple

1) One should strive to act with compassion and empathy toward all creatures in accordance with reason.

2) The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions.

3) One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.

4) The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo one's own.

5) Beliefs should conform to one's best scientific understanding of the world. One should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit one's beliefs.

6) People are fallible. If one makes a mistake, one should do one's best to rectify it and resolve any harm that might have been caused.

7) Every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word.

 

I was raised Catholic but I certainly don't practice THAT anymore, I'm atheist these days.  My interest in religion these day is purly intellectual, I have no intention of practicing again.

 

However with that being said if I ever were to practice TST does fall in line with my own moral compass than certainly Christianity does now.  I'll check that link out.

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I was taught roman catholicism. So I know where you’re coming from. In a nutshell, Satanism is a different form of atheism. People tend to convince themselves otherwise, but there are many TST members who practice other beliefs with Satanism. We’re the first truly unified Satanic organization in the United States. The Church of Satan is much older, but is as loose as it gets. They worship hierarchy and elitism. They’re posers that have no clue what Satanism is even about anymore. 

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On 5/2/2021 at 12:45 AM, Jaicee said:

Okay so to respond to some of the implied critiques of opinions I stated in the OP that people have made:

You hate trans people!

I make no claim to know all there is to know about gender identity and it's definitely possible there's simply key knowledge I don't have as yet. To this end, I try to keep an open mind and reserve the right to change my opinion. However, I will say that I actually used to be a lot more supportive of transgenderism than I am today. My current opinion of the gender identity movement has been largely informed by the fact that I've walked through the gender transition experience with a woman who eventually de-transitioned, i.e. reverted back to identifying with her biological sex. She was a friend of mine and I supporter all three of her transitions each step of the way: from identifying as female to non-binary to male and back to female again. As much is more than can be said of her transgender, now-former friends. She found that her experience was unhelpful and psychologically costly in the long run. She wound up turning to gender critical feminism in the end, and so did I along with her. We're still good friends to this day.

I've come to view gender as an industry. It's a concept that has been popularized in recent decades for the purpose of replacing the more objective, material notion of biological sex with subjective constructs that have to be bought. Medicalization of the subject (preferably in childhood at that) is curiously vital to de-pathologizing trans identities and this I find disturbing. If becoming and remaining your natural self requires you (or your parents, as the case may be) to pay for puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and even sex reassignment surgeries sometimes...well that just doesn't strike me as realistically a very natural at all. Likewise, I find it similarly curious and disturbing that gender identity practically only exists among lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. I'm primarily concerned for the mental-emotional well-being of trans-identified people.

The way it strikes me is that gender identity is an industry capitalizing on the insecurities that mostly gay and lesbian and bisexual people have and co-opting our language to engineer social movements of their own that create demand for their products. When gay and lesbian people successfully got the psychiatric community de-pathologize sexual orientation, the demand was for it to be DE-medicalized. And I've noticed that the ascendancy of the gender identity movement into the cultural mainstream over the course of recent decades (but especially this last one) in this country has overlapped with the disappearance of lesbian cultural life. As Katie Herzog has aptly pointed out, there is a direct relationship between those two things. As the lesbian bars and night clubs and other lesbian-specific and lesbian-identified cultural spaces (including the annual Michigan Womyn's Music Festival I used to enjoy attending before trans activists got it cancelled in 2015) have vanished, more and more young lesbians and bisexual girls and young women have begun "coming out" as queer and non-binary and transmen instead, whatever any of that even means. That sense of cultural identity as lesbians existed for a reason. It was important. It needed to be there. Without it, I wouldn't have had the courage to come out as lesbian myself. I can only imagine what young lesbians today must go through in the absence of any kind of autonomous cultural identity or exclusive safe spaces of their own. Now there is something else more fashionable, and more profitable for a whole new industry, for young lesbians to come out as instead.

What I find even more disturbing though is the now-commonplace insistence that trans-identified people and biological women cannot and should not both enjoy basic rights, such as rights to safety, privacy, fair play, and freedom of speech and assembly. Rather, compromising the rights of women seems to be a goal of central importance to the gender identity movement despite the real-world examples of countries that already have state policies establishing separate, specialized shelters for women and trans people and likewise separate and specialized prisons for women and trans-identified inmates, for instance, such as to prevent transwomen from facing harassment and violence in men's prisons, but without compromising the safety of women by transferring convicted "not male" rapists to women's prisons. Why cannot such model policy simply be replicated here? Why is there a need to erase all sex-based rights here, and for girls and women in particular?

You're a communist! Why do you back the old Soviet Union?!

The word I used to describe my preferred form of socialist reorganization was actually communalist. I feel that this note is important to make because I don't at all consider myself a Marxist or a proponent of Soviet style "socialism". I'm absolutely against police states and all-powerful bureaucracies. Personally, I don't even see the old Soviet system as authentically socialist at all. These systems involved much state ownership to be sure, but the key thing to recognize is that the state itself was private property (in this case of a particular political party) in the same way that feudal systems privatize the state by bringing it under the exclusive ownership of a landed gentry or particular family or religious institution, for example. Social ownership and control -- including of the government -- is a crucial and defining component-part of socialism in my book. Political democracy, to the extent that it actually brings the public itself into control of the policies and machinations of the government, is, put in economic terms, public ownership and management of the state. Thus are democracy and socialism absolutely inseparable things in my view of it. There is no such thing as legitimate socialism that doesn't revolve around a democratic decision-making process. There exist democratic socialists and there exist fake socialists. That is all.

You own firearms. You support gun violence!

Not at all! I own hunting rifles for survival, so I can eat. I live in a very small town near a wooded area. Most people here live near or below the poverty line and hunger is a common problem. Speaking for myself, it's often been the case that charity came up short or my food stamps ran out or that I just got tired of relying on handouts and found it demeaning, frankly. It's commonplace for people here to hunt for food in the woods. I do so when the sorts of things I've just described happen to me. Without that option, I would definitely wind up going without meals more often. It's simply not practical or reasonable to ask people around here to jettison such options. It just isn't.

I also own hand guns for my own peace of mind because I've been in life-threatening situations before where one might've come in handy --  not even as a killing device necessarily, but just as an instrument of intimidation that could potentially get one out of a deadly scenario. I'm sorry but pepper spray just doesn't have the same impact. I have a license and have been around firearms my whole life. I know best practices. Maybe my hand guns keep me safer and maybe they don't, but what they do give me regardless is a heightened peace of mind. Now I understand that as much cannot be said of everyone. Not everyone knows or engages in best practices and there are unfortunately loopholes in our legal codes that often allow criminals and others who simply shouldn't have access to these sorts of deadly weapons to acquire them. I am in favor of closing those loopholes and for improving background checks for gun purchases in general.

As to like assault rifles, I don't own or need those and nobody else needs them either. Those are weapons of war solely useful for killing large numbers of people, as in mass shootings. I am fine with straight-up banning the future sale of these weapons. That position is one of extreme controversy in my community where these sorts of weapons are often used as part of the local cultural life for entertainment purposes (like blowing shit to kingdom come for the hell of doing so; something that simply feels gratifying to do) and because some people here can be paranoid and some really do think that there might need to be another civil war in this country at some point that they'd like to be prepared for. I'm not of that mindset. These weapons have simply cost far too many innocent people their lives for entertainment value and irrational fear of urban dwellers to justify their legality, in my view.

I think it's best not to assume that people who live differently than you are dangerous or less rational because they do so or that they generally stake out political positions in bad faith.

I’m not too clear how you believe trans are getting more attention or taking away at all from the lesbian community. But I think it’s in your best interests to work together because only the oppressors benefit in your division and when the system as a whole is fixed, then those inner community conflicts will be relieved. I read the link and am still confused. 

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