It occurred to me that, as Warmers often want to accuse me of being “right wing”, and as I am “Right Wing Friendly”, maybe I ought to clarify my actual biases.
First off, it needs to be pointed out that I’m also “Left Wing Friendly”. No, honest!
While I reject Socialism in all its forms as the “better solution”, I’m fairly well schooled in them and don’t mind thinking about them at all. As I’ve often said, I can likely make the best intellectual case for a Lange Type Socialism. In large part, though, the present environment of “who is in charge” and “what they are cramming down our collective throats” causes me to be “in opposition”. That isn’t bias on my part, it is an artifact of the times. When Baby Bush was in power, I was quite distraught over the destruction of our liberties and such.
So the basic thing to realize about me is simply that I’m an “Analytical – Amiable”. I’m most focused just on ‘solving the problem'; whatever it is, regardless of where it leads, do I like it or not. Just a monkey turning the analysis crank. Yet an Amiable and just like pretty much everyone unless they try to hurt me. That, it turns out, matters. The Warmistas seem dominated by angry hateful people who’s first instinct is to hurt folks and go for personal attacks. That’s a Bad Idea when applied to me. (To anyone, actually, but especially for me). So I end up pushed out of their box, by their hand, not mine.
So that’s why I’m “Left Wing Friendly”, because I’m pretty much “everyone friendly until threatened”.
My Left Wing Preferences
I typically call myself a Libertarian or an Independent. Yet there are some “Liberal” / “Progressive” / “Left Wing” positions that I happily embrace. I don’t talk about them much. Mostly because I don’t think I’m all that interesting. “It’s not about ME.” is a typical POV for me. (Though in this case, this article IS about me.) So lets look at a few of my biases and preferences. (Realize that if you are a hard core Right Wing on this, I’m not assaulting your choice. In fact, I embrace your desire to choose it. Free Will and Liberty and all that.)
1) Women’s Issues:
I’m a man, so I can have no valid opinion on what women want. It’s up to them, not me. I’m entirely irrelevant to women choosing for themselves what they want. So on most of these points, while I might have an opinion, I value it at ‘irrelevant’.
Abortion: Women ought to choose, each as they prefer. The “involved” male ought to have about as much involvement in the abortion decision as in the relative time involved in the pregnancy. So figure one minute. I make that about enough time to be informed after the fact…
Contraception: Women ought to choose, each as they prefer. Not my place to be involved. (Though the spouse ought to tell me if she decides to suddenly stop ;-)
Equal Pay for Equal Work: I’m 100% for it. THE largest raise I ever gave was to a woman. 37%. We got her out of college at new hire rates. She was spectacular. At the end of the first year her work matched that of male counterparts (with about a decade more experience), so I argued with HR and got them to ‘give in’. (Oddly, got to play the ‘equal pay for equal work’ card on the FEMALE HR rep ;-) That said, the statistic that “women are only paid 70% on the dollar” or whatever is largely bogus. No such statistic exists in real data. Frankly, I don’t think it CAN be created. Not enough data. It’s a made up number from a silly source.
Rank: I’ve reported to Evil Bastards, to a variety of male bosses, and to a female V.P. at a tech startup. (A couple of them, actually). I found working for the women more comfortable, generally. The one who had gotten here from Red China (as it was called at the time) was a bit odd as she was way political, but still easy to work with. I’ve served on a substantially all female board of directors as one of the ‘token men’. At a very ‘left leaning’ organization. One devoted to the Womens Agenda. I’ve been on T.V. with the director of that group speaking in advocacy for it. (She being, obviously, a she…) I like women in positions of power. They generally, IMHO, handle it better than men. Partly that may just be that, as a ‘geek’, I’m not into the typical “macho bullshit” behaviours and that can set off the “bully the wimp” attitudes in some guys (the less bright, generally, but some in positions of power too. It happens.)
I think they all ought to be legalized. What business is it of anyone else if I want to play with my brain?
I’ve tried M.J. and I DID inhale. Were it not for the tendency to move my otherwise quite good memory closer to ‘normal’ and so I forget things, I’d likely use it on a regular basis. But since I am highly dependent on ‘highly precise memory’, I notice the degradation way too much to find it an acceptable price to pay. So somewhere around 40? years ago decided it was not for me. But don’t worry, I can still hand roll a dooby pretty well and I’m happy to sit in the corner at a party ‘rolling’ for others to enjoy. Might even get a bit of ‘contact high’, but don’t expect me to take a big toke as I’m not willing to be stupid and forgetful for a week… damn it. And this after I’d invented a great way to move the “magic stuff” anywhere you wanted it. If you ever run into folks using “acetone extraction”, I developed it and ‘told a lot of folks’. Easy to do. Just ‘wash and evaporate’ and you, too, can make “magic anything”. (Be careful with sparks. Acetone is highly flammable…)
Coke is interesting, but it, too, has too much ‘cost’. Not just dollar cost. The ‘adaptation’ rate is fairly fast, then you get angry and grumpy without it. Partly, too, I think I’m less sensitive to it. I can get a more pleasant buzz and more ‘kick’ from a double espresso and Scotch. ( Which I dearly love ;-) Very similar effect for me, too. A ‘very happy high energy buzz’. But without the ‘grumpy rebound’ and without the legal issues and without the $$$ cost and without… Hey, I lived with a Jazz Musician for a while… if you DIDN’T join in, folks looked at you strange and felt out of place… it was just being ‘sociable’. Later I learned to ‘find something I had to do’ for a few minutes at the right time and I’d just sneak off to the ‘back room’ like I had a private stash or something… that was really putting some Scotch in my coffee ;-) But if you are having a party and need someone who knows how to ‘cut a line’ hey, happy to do it. Do like to wipe a bit on the gums though ;-)
Mushrooms? Tried them once. Very mild visuals, but they cause some gastrointestinal rumbly and, er, um, “smelly farts” that I found disturbing. I’d love a mild hallucinogenic that didn’t have those kinds of side effects, but have not cared enough to look for one. Basically, I’m a ‘curious dabbler’ more than a ‘regular interest’ sort. Never had the courage to try the hard core synthetics, though. (LSD, DMT, etc.) Guess I have my limits ;-) Tried growing them once (mostly as a protest against them being illegal as I was already not interested in consumption – but thought maybe I could make an extract minus the problem bits). It didn’t work well. I suspect the spores I bought were dead, but my ‘technique’ with spawn was likely deficient too. Still have the book on ‘how to do it’ and some day would like to succeed (though mostly just as a matter of pride. Heck, I’d be happy just to get Shiitake to grow.)
Never did injectables. I’ve had them from medical procedures and find them generally nice. The oral form is just as pleasant, to me, though. I’ve had a fair load of codeine and similar from various surgeries and such. Nice stuff. Like a vicodin nembutal mix (had it for ear surgery) and valium is nice. Never cared enough to do them ‘recreationally’ but don’t see why other folks ought not be allowed.
So the point here? I think the entire “war on drugs” is not only completely stupid, a horrific waste of time and money, and a horrible intrusion on individual liberties; but I’ve lived ‘up close and personal’ with a drug using culture (from college years in the ’70s up until about 2000 when my major link to ‘that group’ died of cancer – likely from exposure to petrochemicals in a gas station his dad owned…) and can tell you first hand: the war on drugs does not work. (Oddly, the ONE thing that I do feel strongly about is “doing stupid things that don’t work”. Really can’t stand doing broken things that don’t work. Efficiency and efficacy matter…)
3) Animal Rights:
“Intelligent life in the universe is numerous. I vow to protect them.” That was one of the mantras at a local Buddhist Temple I’ve attended. I have “talked with my bunnies”. (They have a limited, but interesting language). I could not eat one (unless it was a choice of death, or not… but even then might not be able…) It isn’t a matter of capacity. I was trained to ‘dress’ rabbits at about 6 years old and have the skill. It’s just wrong to eat your friends. My family is about 1/2 vegetarian. I’m not one of them, but rarely eat ‘red meat’. I do eat pork (despite them being relatively smart. They can also be rather mean… somehow I don’t mind eating ‘intelligent life’ that is mean to me. Warmer Trolls ought to remember that… I’d have an easier time cooking one of them than a bunny…) Chickens are dumb and mean, so we have lots of chicken ;-)
I don’t care if YOU want to eat cows, rabbits, whatever. You have the right to be insensitive and uncaring… but I might explain to you the personality and complexity of rabbit society… and the remarkable parallels to humans.
Primates, IMHO, ought to be granted the same rights as humans of similar I.Q.
4) Race Equality:
If I think Chimps and Gorillas ought to have “human rights”, do you really think I’d be for differentials inside the human community?
I had a hard crush on a Chinese girl in high school. She was my date at the 10 year reunion. One of my nieces married a Hispanic guy and I spent about 1/2 my time from 4 years old to college at my closest friends home where most things were in Spanish. (He spent about as much time at my home, so learned to drink tea with his pinky out ;-) My “motorcycle buddy” was as black as the ace of spades and one of my kids is dating a person of mixed African ancestry.
Do I think “the races are equal”? Not at all. Equal in rights, yes. But very different in details. Blacks have longer legs (that I really admire in CatWoman movies ;-) and sprint better. Whites have shorter legs, but more lungs, so do better at long distance running and swimming. Asians have a flexibility and speed that’s startling. But I glory in our differences. Some tall, some short, some fat, some thin, some white, black, brown or even pink. What would Santa be like if a skinny guy? Could “Satchmo” have been as impressive as a pasty white guy? I don’t think so. So I embrace “Aunt Jemima” as a success in her own right (and would be happy and comfortable having pancakes in her kitchen) just as I embrace Mohamed Ali as likely the worlds greatest boxer (but would be more comfortable with George Foreman at the grill… he smiles more ;-) I would not expect a 120 lb Asian to be as interesting in the ring as either of them, but was quite happy with my dentist’s skill level at taking care of a wisdom tooth. (Don’t know if he was Japanese or Chinese… I was a bit drugged and don’t remember ;-) I’d not have been ‘thrilled’ at George Foreman removing the same tooth, though I have no doubt he could have… just doubt that he could have left the others in place ;-)
In short: I don’t endorse or embrace any form of “special treatment” by race, but also don’t find any reason to not enjoy all our differences. I spent a night in a Navajo owned hotel in the middle of nowhere Arizona (at the far end of the Grand Canyon. If you can, drive out to where the bridge crosses the far end. The hotel just over the bridge on the north side.) My strongest desire was to find a way to spend a month living with them, there. The “centeredness” just oozed from them, and from the place. The connection to the land that I could never have. Couldn’t act on it though. But I’d still like to find a way to experience the culture for a longer period of time. It is our differences and special uniquenesses we all ought to be enjoying. I can’t jump worth a damn. White Mans Disease. Basketball with a mandated ‘short fat white guy’ component would be ‘no fun’…
So, in short, while I don’t see any way for government mandated ‘preference’ to work; I also love our diversity and revel in it. My expectation on ‘race mixing’ is just that, like ALL other species, ‘hybrid vigor’ will be (has been?) the result. I’ve encouraged my kids to just ‘be happy’ but if they can, be a bit ‘diverse’ in their experimentation too…
Left to their own devices, companies will pollute and destroy the commons. Just a historical fact. We need to prevent that with viable and valid regulation.
Left to OUR own devices, we will consume and destroy the open spaces and commons. Just a historical fact. We need to prevent that and set aside some lands that are forbidden from human consumption. I’d personally advocate for about 1/2 the planet surface. We can do that without too much difficulty. Even 20% would be better than what we do now. (I don’t think they ought to be all ‘managed’. Part of the essence of nature is NOT being managed… we have a tendency to ‘love to death’ our wild places with too much ‘management’…)
The present GMO push is a hideous assault on the gene pool. It will end badly. (Already has, really. Corn genetics are already polluted in the source pool in Mexico and we’ve got several classes of “super weeds” showing up all over. Bt corn likely damaging bee colonies and perhaps screwing up US too, along with making super bugs…)
At one time, 20? years ago, I was a member of Friends Of The Earth and contributed to Greenpeace. I don’t any more, mostly due to them straying from their original focus. That, and the political BS is just too high these days.
I am dead set against Socialism, but NOT because I do not agree with the goals. I’ve studied it, and generally agree with many of the DESIRES. Education for all. More equal access to capital. Limitation of privilege. Common humanity demands access to medical care for all. (Heck, I’d extend it to my animal friends, too, given my desires).
So why don’t I embrace it? ONLY because humans are prone to a particular pattern of failure that is (so far) inevitable. Greedy power hungry folks parasitise government and turn it to their self interests. We are seeing that now in the UN and in the EU. Basically, it is antithetical to human freedom and liberty and “ends badly”. It fails to achieve it’s stated goals.
For some reason, recognizing that historical failure and being willing to hold my wishes in check due to ‘reality constraints’ causes True Socialists to want to jump all over me and call me ‘right wing’. They just can’t accept that “I want what they want”; but just realize their method is doomed to failure.
I’m no fan of Capitalism. It causes some folks to become obscenely wealthy and have disproportionate power (despite often not being all that smart, and often due to being an Evil Bastard with poor morality). Yet it works. The simple reality is that it has done more to improve the life of more folks, and their liberty, than any other system.
So I’m a “reluctant capitalist” and remain open to a ‘better way’ (but only once it is DEMONSTRATED to work and be stable more than one generation in some little test country somewhere… which sadly means I can never live in it…)
Sometimes there is no satisfactory solution.
7) “Progressive” Taxes:
My favorite “thought experiment” tax is a very simple system. Tax rate is set at 20% of “all income above the mean”. In this way, by definition, the 1/2 of the population that is not winning pays nothing to play the game they are losing. The 1/2 that are winning fund the game. The risk is that the 1/2 that get ‘stuff for nothing’ will vote for themselves more stuff. So it will only work where the rate can not be raised EVER or where the max ‘tax’ is limited (say, to 10% of GDP).
Unfortunately, since politicians have shown they can’t bear to leave tax rates alone, and the population has shown they can’t stand to not be bribed by free stuff and class envy, nor see the fairness of the system; this desired tax system won’t work in the real world. But it’s what I’d like to have. If it could be safeguarded from change.
Anything you want, with anyone who is a ‘consenting adult’. I’d lobby for making the age of consent 16 (or even 14 for those under 18… basically a ‘teens with teens’ rule. Or maybe a ‘no more than 4 years difference’ rule until 21?) One, two, three, dozens. I don’t care. Not my problem. Not somewhere the government ought to be involved.
The Progressive Era did many great things. Really they did. We were so far ‘around the bend’ into “free market capitalism” and had Robber Barrons pretty much with free run of the place. There was a real need for some ‘countervailing force’. So at that time, having Unions able to bring them to the table to get things like a work environment that didn’t put you are risk of death rather than spend 10 cents on safety, or work hours less than ‘all waking time’, and abuses like The Company Store priced to insured indentured servitude by other names; all good things.
Similarly, having universal suffrage was likely the right thing to do (even if I’ve had my doubts after the last election ;-)
Anti-trust laws and the trust busting was needed. If you don’t do it, you enter ‘fattest wallet wins’ land, and end up with ONE person who owns everything and sets all the rules. It’s just a matter of time and effort.
The only problem, really, was that ‘all things in moderation’ was forgotten. They headed off into ‘income redistribution’ and ‘big government’ and ‘third way central planning’ land. Turned “education for all” into “indoctrination for all”. But along the way, we did pass through a wonderful era of increasing education and enlightenment. Just didn’t stop the process at the middle balance point…
My Right Wing Biases
I’ll make this a shorter list.
I’m a hard core 2nd Amendment guy. “Countervailing power” to tyrants and all. Don’t particularly like the idea of everyone waking around “packing”, but the simple fact is that we didn’t have as many things like mass school shootings when folks COULD pack. (In my home town, there were guns behind just about every door. Heck, you had ‘shooting teams’ that competed at some schools. Never heard of a ‘school mass shooting’ then …)
So this, too, falls a bit into the “it works” bias. “An armed society is a polite society” is true. While it might make you queasy to walk down a street full of folks with a gun or sword on their belt, it has two good effects. First off, you likely would avoid going to places with real risk. Second, WHEN a ‘bad thing’ starts, it rapidly ends. So they start much more rarely. You just don’t get a lot of ‘shooting in anger’ at police stations and gun ranges. Like it or not.
Besides, it’s really fun to shoot tin cans ;-)
Folks ought to be free to practice what they want that doesn’t hurt others. Generally, it’s a positive force in civilization. I have a preference for the Buddhist and Judeo-Christian forms, but Hindu has some merit. I’ve looked at Sikhism and find it well thought out, moral, and I’d be very attracted to it if I didn’t have to learn Yet Another Language. Islam “has issues” with intolerance of others and violence toward outsiders and women. As that ‘hurts others’, sorry, just can’t embrace that. But if you want it in your own country, go right ahead. Generally helpful for some folks, so I’m not strongly against it; just worried about the ‘hard’ forms of it. New Age isn’t quite so high on my list of ‘good ideas’… and much of it ‘has issues’ too. Oddly, having looked in some depth at Druidism, modulo the human sacrifice, it wasn’t all that crazy. Ditto the ancient pantheon of Rome, Greece, and Egypt.
Atheists, I understand. Really I do. The problem is that it slowly decays into moral relativism and leads to a whole host of bad outcomes. Were it more ‘long term helpful’, I would be more positive toward it.
Why is this ‘right wing’? Well, really it isn’t. But embracing the stereotype of ‘right wing’, I’m not 100% equally tolerant of everything, so that must be a ‘right wing bias’ ;-)
Sorry, it’s 1 man and 1 woman. Get over it. ( I could be talked into ‘more than one’ spouse provide all parties agree to it and none are under 18 or 21 ish.)
That said, I’ve got NO problem at all with folks wanting a ‘civil union’ of any collection of folks they care to assemble. Just don’t call it a ‘marriage’. I’ve been in some ‘complicated’ relationships (some involving more than 2 parties). I’ve got no problem with “Two Moms” or “Bob and David” being a ‘couple’. Hey, I’ve slow danced with a gay guy, ok? So yes, “Bob and Dave” ought to have the same ability to visit in hospitals, have a ‘civil union’ and share benefits.
Where’s the problem with Marriage? Traditional religious marriage is a ‘three way’. Man, Woman, and God. As several rather important religions follow the Bible and it specifically says ‘homosexuality is a sin’, kind of hard to have a ‘sin’ in ‘holy matrimony’ with God… So just call it a ‘civil union’, have your ceremony, fill out the ‘civil union’ license and go on your honeymoon. No problem. I’ll even give you a present, throw rice, and dance with whomever is designated the ‘bride’… Just don’t force other folks to have their holy ritual broken.
Leave me the hell alone. Don’t take my stuff. Don’t have the government do it for you. Don’t draft me, or my kids, nor spy on me. Have the police knock politely on the door, with a search warrant (paper, physically signed by a judge). None of this ‘no-knock’ and ‘warrentless searches’ or ‘self issued searches’. Besides, you might catch me while I’m ‘cleaning my guns’ and catch a bullet before I know you are police.
You ought to be able to say anything you want.
Even “hate speech” (that’s an oxymoron, IMHO). The counter to ‘bad speech’ is more speech. Freedom of speech MUST exist for speech you find reprehensible. Otherwise it isn’t really freedom of speech, now is it? (As I learned that from Noam Chomsky, I’m not really sure if it is ‘right wing’ or ‘libertarian’, but as ‘the left’ is pushing for ‘hate speech’ prohibitions for things they don’t like, and vilified Noam for it, I think it belongs here ‘on the right’.)
I ought to be able to make my own booze, grow my own pot, heck, even add a room on my own home; without government involvement or ‘permits’. Heck, I remember a time when you could own your own cannon and make your own bombs and it was legal. (One farmer friend has a great story of using dynamite to blow up an old concrete cistern on the farm… it involves having it slip out of the hand at an inopportune moment. Don’t worry, he tossed it into the hole in time. They liked to ‘launch stumps’ too ;-)
(Personally, I don’t really see that as ‘right wing’, more libertarian, but as ‘left wing’ tends to mean ‘collective’ and is strongly associated with police states in history – Stalin and the National Socialists – I figure it belongs here).
I’d even go so far as to abolish drivers licenses and license plates / registration on cars. We didn’t always have them and things don’t seem better for the DMV doing what it does.
5) Unions and Professional Licensing.
It’s just a scam. Having a choice of ‘certified’ as in CPA vs ‘bookkeeper’ works just as well. Having Union Bosses taking my money to buy political favor only helps the bosses and the politicians. No problem if YOU want to have a union, just don’t make a ‘closed shop’ where I have to join the union to get a job. And if I want ‘Old Mable’ down the street to cut my hair, don’t see the need for a ‘beauticians license’ or union card. Reputation and malpractice law works better.
The less of it the better. Under 10% of GDP TOTAL would be best, IMHO. It was that way once, and things were better then. As Republicans have also become “Big Government Loons”, this is likely more a Libertarian than a ‘right wing’ position. But compared to the Democrats, it’s ‘right wing’.
I’ve likely left a few things off. Frankly, I don’t remember what all are “right wing” and “left wing”. I long ago decided I was just “middle of the bird” and had things that worked, and things that didn’t. One that clearly doesn’t work is ‘Big Government’ of any form. Having more ‘Central Planning’ is worse, though.
Generally I fall into the “Social Liberal / Fiscal Conservative” camp, but with a strong emphasis on personal liberty and small (microscopic) government. Mostly I just want to be left alone and to leave everyone else alone.
I like all sorts of people and don’t ‘put them in boxes’ very much. I’ve had a ‘crush’ on a pretty woman from just about any race or mix of races you can think of. Never saw the reason to not like any of them. I’ve had close friends from all sorts of races and cultures. People are far more alike than different. I’ve had “white christians” that I’ve despised (as they were mean SOBs) Mostly I just like nice folks and don’t like mean folks. Everything else comes second on the list. (though some groups have shown themselves predominantly mean, and I think it’s quite OK to “learn and generalize”.)
I like to ‘experiment’ and think others ought to be free to try that too. “This life is not a dress rehearsal. Take BIG bites!” is one of my favorite mantras. So I learned that a guy’s skin doesn’t please me like a gals does. Fine. I also learned that ‘stubble’ is icky, so shave more when expecting a ‘date’ with the Mrs… so it wasn’t all wasted. It’s my body, and my life, so not your problem.
But above all else, I’m tolerant of other folks being at liberty too. As long as it does no harm to others, I really don’t care what you do. I’d not care about ‘gay marriage’ but for the way it hurts the religious (who invented the whole thing anyway, so have some kind of ownership rights). I’d be peachy with Islam, were it not prone to violence and subversion. Even with that, I’ve got no problem with individual Muslims. Pretty much every one I’ve met has been an ok person. (Though there’s plenty of evidence on the nightly news for the other kinds…) IMHO, the only legitimate role of ‘government force’ is to prevent willful harm of one group by another. That includes poor folks taking rich folks stuff via taxation…
“Live and let live” works for me. I just wish it did for those in power and those voting…
So does that make me “left wing”? Or “right wing”? Or “Middle of the bird”? Or just a mess?
I don’t know.
Just know I’ve never felt good about telling other folks how to live their lives (though willing to offer advice if asked, about what is known to work well) and ask the same courtesy in return. Sadly, that seems less and less available…