Libertarian Commentary #16-21D by Nathan Barton
Before getting to other news, I find myself commenting on the “bathroom crisis” – a manufactured issue that nevertheless seems to be dominating political thinking right now. And distracting us from more critical issues. And actually, my comments are on comments about it, and a theme I increasingly am drawn to: the hypocrisy of some who claim to be lovers of liberty and adhere to the non-aggression principle.
Who is the pervert? Who defines that? What am I missing? This news “commentary headline” appears in Freedom Net Daily: “Pols from 11 states sue: Feds can’t take away our welfare checks just because we’re creepy gropy pervs” It headlines a story from the WaPo which states in part, “Texas and 10 other states are suing the Obama administration over its directive to U.S. public schools to let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity. The lawsuit announced Wednesday includes Oklahoma, Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Maine, Arizona, Louisiana, Utah and Georgia. The challenge, which asks a judge to declare the directive unlawful, follows a federal directive to U.S. schools this month to let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.”
Okay, I definitely agree with the editors of FND that the FedGov sending money to local schools IS a form of welfare. And even that the money is tax money and therefore stolen. I could agree that the politicians are hypocritical and self-serving, because they have LONG accepted the strings that come with that FedGov money. These strings range from how much sugar can be in school meals to what kinds of sports programs they have and all the other nonsense that “No Child Left Behind” dictates. But they are now suddenly balking at this string, in contrast to their previous stance: clearly hypocritical on their part. However, that is NOT what FND is all het up about.
What I cannot understand is how lovers of liberty (which the publishers/editors of FND claim to be) can claim that the reason that the politicians, scum though they are, are trying to cut THIS string is because they are “creepy gropy pervs.” Nothing in this foofaraw has anything to do with administrators or law enforcement or parents or anyone else going around groping other people OR “perving” (staring at people’s “junk”) to determine whether or not people’s privacy has been violated or not. And exactly HOW is it “creepy” for someone to not want their son, daughter, husband or wife to be put into a situation of having their privacy invaded by someone of the (physical) opposite sex able either to see them partially or fully undressed and engaged in private, personal activities, OR be seen by someone who (despite all physical attributes) believes (sincerely or not) that they are of the opposite sex? Or “creepy” on the part of politicians to respond to the anger and fear of the constituents upset about this? Just who is being “gropy” and “perverted” in this situation? It does not seem to be the politicians, however bad they are. Nor does it appear to me to be their constituents who are disgusted at this sort of thing and the squatter in DC forcing it down their throats.
Is this not what advocates for privacy have been condemning about the Transportation Security Agency (TSA: Thousands Standing Around) and their blasted whole-body scanners: that people of the opposite (or even same) sex can see them nude? The complaint has been that our privacy is being violated. So why is it wrong to be put in such a situation in an airport but NOT in a school toilet or locker room?
Why cannot people who base their political philosophy on the freedom of individuals to make their own decisions and take responsibility for their own lives, see how this demand from DC is so very offensive to the people that these politicians supposedly represent that even the crooked politicians feel compelled to respond? Even mentally ill people can be perverted, even perverts can be mentally ill (in ways other than their primary perversion), but does that mean the rest of us must give up our right to privacy? Must allow ourselves and our families to be exposed to crudities and blatant in-your-face rejection of our values constantly?
Condemn the politicians for their hypocrisy and stupidity, and for promoting a society in which this sort of issue explodes on the national scene, distracting us from things like theft (taxes) and warmongering and regulatory nightmares. But stop with the ad hominem attacks claiming that they (and not the mentally ill people who are “transgender”) are perverts and creeps. And if you want to attack the politicians for instigating and encouraging and permitting “groping” then go after the security state and the TSA and the cops. Don’t make things up.
On to other news:
US military uses 8-inch floppy disks to coordinate nuclear force operations, or so the GAO (Government Accountability Office) and CNBC report: “Maybe they use the ’80s flick ‘War Games’ as a training film, too. The U.S. Defense Department is still using — after several decades — 8-inch floppy disks in a computer system that coordinates the operational functions of the nation’s nuclear forces, a jaw-dropping new report reveals. The Defense Department’s 1970s-era IBM Series/1 Computer and long-outdated floppy disks handle functions related to intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear bombers and tanker support aircraft, according to the new Government Accountability Office report.” In an era where we rightfully object to the insane spending on “defense,” is is kind of puzzling just why people are so upset about using “ancient” technology. And amusing. If it works, why waste billions trying to “fix it” just so it is more modern? After all, we use a lot of other things for military purposes that are “ancient” but do the job needed to be done: from the M2 .50-cal machine gun (a product of WW1: a century ago) to the C-130 and B-52 aircraft, often being flown by the great-grandchildren of their original crews to more common items like metal cans of food and knives and good old WD-1 (phone wire for field use). Right along with using “modern” marvels invented last week.
Gee, wish I’d known these things were readily available months ago. “Beware of fake USB chargers that wirelessly record everything you type,” the FBI warns, as reported by The Hacker News. “Last year, a white hat hacker developed a cheap Arduino-based device that looked and functioned just like a generic USB mobile charger, but covertly logged, decrypted and reported back all keystrokes from Microsoft wireless keyboards. Dubbed KeySweeper, the device included a web-based tool for live keystroke monitoring and was capable of sending SMS alerts for typed keystrokes, usernames, or URLs, and work even after the nasty device is unplugged because of its built-in rechargeable battery.” Like everything else in modern life, many things are a constant fight between methods: security of our daily communications and records being one of the biggest. Is this a “nasty device”? It is all in the eyes of the beholder. Sounds like a neat and useful gadget to me.
Mama’s Note: Seems to me that anything can probably be “hacked” or compromised when the internet is involved – depending on how much time and money the hackers wish to commit to that invasion. Comes with the territory. If people are truly interested in maintaining their privacy and preventing the “reporting,” there are many new (and some old) technologies available to protect themselves. Starts with avoiding ANYTHING from Microsoft, and Google, though the latter is far more difficult. Encryption is available on a number of levels, and is getting better all the time. So, it is the responsibility of the individual to guard his/her privacy and data, rather than just complain that someone has developed a way to invade it. A little research and some common sense will go far to avoid problems.
I suppose this is what we should expect from NPR, in their report from New Mexico about protesters, police clashing at a Trump rally. (And No, RRND/FND, NPR is NOT “US state media” – just a subsidized forum for liberals and Tranzis that targets government as much as private entities.) Anyway, NPR broadcast: “A Donald Trump campaign rally in Albuquerque, N.M., turned violent on Tuesday, leading to at least one arrest and several injuries, police say. According to the Albuquerque Police Department Twitter feed, several officers were hit by rocks thrown by protesters. The police later characterized the clash as a ‘riot.’ … Protesters carried anti-Trump banners, toppled barricades and threw plastic bottles and burning T-shirts at police, The Associated Press reports. Officers responded with smoke grenades and pepper spray, the wire service says. Several protesters inside the venue chanted slogans and were evicted by police and security guards. Trump mocked them, telling them to ‘go home to mommy.’ The candidate’s supporters chanted, ‘Build that wall!'” The lead sentence certainly gave ME the idea that it was the Trumpistas running wild. And the overall impression of the whole story is that the “Trump supporters” are really to blame for this (not even Albuquerque’s infamous police) because of their candidate’s evil positions on immigration and other issues. But their very actions, unjustified and excessive, actually support his rhetoric.