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Oct 9, 2023Liked by Steve QJ

The motivations of people like Julia. Absolutely key. I do not believe her motivation is truly empathetic. Rather, she wants to be empathetic IN THE RIGHT WAY. She wants to be seen by others with whom she wants to be associated as having the correct empathy. Her mimetic desire for belonging precludes true empathy. In other words, Julia wants social

The best way to understand the trans movement is by viewing it as a religious social contagion. Reason is irrelevant. Julia wants membership among the flock with all its psychic benefits.

With the decline of organized, theistic religion, it is not surprising that the same need is fulfilled by secular, non theistic religion. Anti racism is much the same.

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"She wants to be seen by others with whom she wants to be associated as having the correct empathy. Her mimetic desire for belonging precludes true empathy. In other words, Julia wants social [credit]"

Really? What makes you think that? Don't get me wrong, I've spoken to lots of people for whom this is true, but Julia strikes me as sincere. Maybe it's also because I've spoken to her before so I've built up a little picture of who she is in my mind. But is there anything specific about what she said that makes you see her as insincere?

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Well, obviously I cannot know for absolute certain because I do not live in her head and only have the benefit of what she wrote. But I say this because the notion of "trans suicidal ideation" or "oppression" from not being able to play on the sports team of choice, like "systemic racism," has become a trope that is trotted out almost as if on cue. Nobody can operationalize them. They are abstract, dogmatic concepts of suffering.

Where was all this trans suffering 15 or 20 years ago, when none of these trans "rights" were recognized? It should have been worse. Julia points to no person in particular as a target of her "empathy" She studiously ignores the rank unfairness to biological female athletes without a hint of the cognitive pain that such dilemmas should arouse in truly empathetic people.

This is not to say that there is not trans suffering, or pervasive individual instances of racism. There clearly are. But the real trans suffering, like the real racism, do not come from where the Progressive quasi-religious and conspiratorial mindset thinks they come from. Many young trans people (esp AFAB) suffer from low self-esteem and a host of other aliments like autism and depression. Transition is the new panacea. Similarly, racism in private hiring decisions is absolutely pervasive, but there is nothing "systemic" about it---it is instead the result of millions of individual and unconnected decisions.

Because the Progressive dogmas are not empirically grounded, they preclude real solutions. The young purported "trans" teen's real mental issues never get treated and, in like manner the nonexistent racist "systems" are blamed rather than focusing on the hearts and minds of the individual private employer.

To my mind, this is the point of your article--fictional thinking results in fictional "solutions,"

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"Well, obviously I cannot know for absolute certain because I do not live in her head"

Oh yeah, I wasn't trying to pin you down to some ironclad standard of evidence, I just didn't spot anything that seemed insincere and thought you might have. Julia's motivations, for me, are summed up by her last reply.

I've spoken to several otherwise smart, reasonable, nuanced people who seem equally incapable of thinking clearly about this issue. And very single one of them, literally without exception, "speaks on behalf" of a trans child or trans friend.

Note Julia's line (and the title of this piece); "I don't like the absolute line of dividing by sex assigned at birth." Any clear-thinking person understands that what one "likes" on this or any other issue is irrelevant. But for a lot of people, their discomfort with the truth is enough reason to reject it.

They've swallowed the incredibly oft-repeated lie that trans people who aren't affirmed in every single way will kill themselves. And refuse to differentiate between the few trans people they know and the perverts and fetishists who are using real trans people as a Trojan horse.

Again, I think there are many, many people who fit your description. But I think people like Julia are more victims of a lack of thought and a bias built on the belief that their dogma is necessary to protect people they care about.

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Oct 10, 2023·edited Oct 10, 2023

"But I think people like Julia are more victims of a lack of thought and a bias built on the belief that their dogma is necessary to protect people they care about."

I don't think my point is far from this. I'm a big believer in Rene Girard's mimetic theory. People "learn" who the objects of their empathy "ought" to be through social cues. This is the "bias" you refer to.

Julia is not coming at this issue from a vacuum. In a profound sense, moral beliefs are functionally indistinguishable from fashion. Before 2015 and the legalization of gay marriage---that is, before people in Progressive circles were "trained" to have empathy for trans people despite the harms to others--my guess is that if Julia were confronted with the same moral dilemma (transwomen athletes in women's sports), she likely would have had a much more nuanced response. But now that her dominant group has labeled that nuanced response as "bigotry," it changes the entire psychological dynamic.

I have seen the identical mimetic process work its magic on Progressive friends of mine I have known for decades, who suddenly had profound "concerns" they never knew they had. (Indeed, I might be "projecting" a bit with Julia.) I do not doubt Julia's sincerity within this framework, but I also question if true empathy is possible without independence of thought and a grounding in reality. It takes a certain personality type to go against the grain.

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I agree with you on this. She doesn't strike me as truly empathetic either.

On another note, curious why you would use the term 'AFAB'?

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I use the term AFAB out of lazy convenience. Sadly the words “woman” and “girl” now need clarification because of uncertainty about your audience. Maybe here it was a mistake, but in other forums where I write like Medium it has become necessary. My apologies.

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You don't owe me an apology. I just try to make sure I never use the language of the ideologues because I don't want to give it any credence. Then again, I was kicked off Medium for allegedly 'transphobic' views, so you are more strategic than I.

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It's unconscious. She believes 100% in what she says, but I'll bet on some deeper level she's uncomfortable with it. I think Miguelitro nailed her, but she doesn't yet realize it herself, and may never, because it will be too big a blow to her self-image to realize how wrong she was about something, how the right-wingers were right, and how un-feminist and anti-progressive her views actually are.

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Her sincerity of advocating for Those People hasn't changed, just which of Those People she's supporting.

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Julia wants social credit

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The refusal to talk about the rising tide of perverts and misogynists hiding under the trans umbrella has led more and more people to see all trans people as perverts and misogynists.

Just look at what happened at the Grace Hopper Conference this year. Men self-identifying as "non-binary" swarmed the conference, harassed women, pushed them out of the recruiter lines etc.. This is what happens when you're not allowed to question the opening of safe spaces for women to men who claim to self-identify as something else.

I realize that this isn't entirely the same as trans-women competing in female sports - but, it shows that there needs to be a way to make sure that women don't lose the small steps forward they have made in the name of inclusiveness

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"Just look at what happened at the Grace Hopper Conference this year."

Yep, what surprised me most about this was the response of the organisers. They seemed so shocked that men would take advantage of their idiotic selection criteria in this way. And then they reacted in the most TERF-ey way imaginable; accusing these "non-binary" people of lying about their identities, saying they were going to fight to remove them from their space, saying how their formerly female-only space now felt unsafe.

It's absolutely jaw-dropping to me they can't see that this is exactly what we've been saying for years.

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Who coulda seen THAT coming? No one! <wide-eyed wonder>

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Women need to learn how to say No more. It's up to US to put the limits on male behavior, as always. It's not fair but that's how it works for *all* truly marginalized groups. Women have got to stop letting themselves be manipulated and gaslit and most of all, we've got to stop being so *nice*. Those of us who can think for ourselves, who know male manipulators and opportunists when we see them, have to challenge these women and their commitment to 'inclusivity'. They dislike being compared to or accused of being 'groomers', yet it's obvious that the gender cult is grooming fuzzy-headed women to learn to not say no to male predatory behavior like in the 'good old days' when women did what they're told. Once they have access to female-only spaces, the grooming starts to teach women it's not acceptable to say no to male sexual desire.

And when the pedos move in, these women will be primed to not say no, to accept the argument that "It's not your place to tell children who they can and can't have sex with; just as it's not your place to tell them they can't be the opposite sex."

THIS is where today's progressive 'feminism' is leading us. THIS is why we call them groomed, or unconscious groomers.

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"Women need to learn how to say No more. It's up to US to put the limits on male behavior, as always. It's not fair but that's how it works for *all* truly marginalized groups."

Yeah, I think women's empathy has long been weaponised against them. Putting aside questions of whether that empathy is socialised or naturally occurring or a combination of both, there's a long history of bad actors trying (and managing) to convince women that their boundaries are "mean."

Given the realities of male/female physicality, I think men also need to do more to limit bad male behaviour. But yes, some women could really do with recognising that there's a difference between kindness and capitulation.

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All of these organizations like Grace Hopper will become 100% trans in the end. Real women aren't going to go to them.

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People have started to believe that they can shape reality with their thoughts. A man thinks he is a woman and poof, as if by magic he is transformed. A little lipstick and a dress and he is entitled to female spaces - and if you dare to question his transformation - you are a hateful bigot. Didn't you sex is not binary, blah blah, there are intersex people, blah blah, sex is assigned, blah blah.... Then you have these "be kind", "make the world a better place for the weak and fragile" brigade (ie, men/boys who appropriate womanhood). I think we need to stop expecting rational thought and understanding from ideologically captured zealots. They will keep changing the meaning of words to hear only what they want.

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"People have started to believe that they can shape reality with their thoughts."

100% This, in several areas, is the problem. Even Julia, who thinks her feelings about the trans girls she knows and loves should override other women and obvious safeguarding concerns and reality itself, is guilty of a version of this.

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Everything we do shapes reality with our thoughts. Gender is as much a social construct as money is.

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Gender (which was until recently used as a synonym for sex)if you are referring to play acting to social stereotypes of masculinity and femininity has nothing to do with the reality of biological sex. That’s the difference. How you dress, express yourself, should have no bearing on the reality of sex based differences. Male bodies don’t belong in female sports, prisons, rape shelters, etc. Additionally, it’s not society’s responsibility to affirm people’s individual beliefs about themselves, to validate what is patently not true.

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Oct 9, 2023Liked by Steve QJ

"The failure to speak clearly has enabled all of this" is exactly right. Thanks for being a clear voice in this!

I would love to see the phrase "sex observed at birth" replacing the absurd "assigned" slogan. I'll start today.

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"sex observed at birth"

Yep, "sex observed months *prior* to birth, usually during an ultrasound or a maternal blood test" is even more accurate. But I concede it's a bit of a mouthful😄

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ON one hand, it does seem arbitrary; one gaze between the legs, and a doctor/nurse/midwife can predict the course of your life? But there's a 99%+ chance of being right, so it's still useful.

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hear, hear!

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I remember that Twilight Zone episode! So good.

Good post.

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Early in the rise of trans I politely did not resist the gender is a social construct claim. I've done quite a few foolish things in my long life and that is one of them. That should have been nipped in the bud.

As in the TZ episode, it seemed harmless enough initially. A Christian friend once said to me, the Bible starts with "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Once you accept that you are ready to accept everything else that's in it.

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"As in the TZ episode, it seemed harmless enough initially."

This is the battle for me. Society has to be able to change and adapt. We have to be able to accept ideas that seem new and strange and even a little uncomfortable. This ability has allowed society to evolve in enormously positive ways, but there's always the fear of the slippery slope. So we need mechanisms that allow is to say, "Okay, that's far enough. Now we're crossing over into something dangerous."

There are many ways to define that line, but the clearest is objective reality. All religious thinking, whether traditional religions or this religion of gender, falls foul of that line. People should be able to believe what they want. But their ideas can't be allowed to govern how society works.

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Bill Maher has observed that this started with us being too tolerant of the nutty beliefs of fundamentalist religion.

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Something that’s correct 99%+ is most good enough to go by for most applications.

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This demonstrates how easily manipulated so many women still are. It's one of our biggest psychological weaknesses, and something I speak about over and over again on my website. What I would say to Julia is, "Don't believe everything men tell you. Some can be quite manipulative to get what you want; in fact research shows that boys learn at a very early age to figure out how to put one over on females; and it begins with their mother." I certainly saw that with my little brother, was lied when it benefited him. Mom would always believe him even when I said I knew for a fact he was lying. "Oh, it was so hard not to believe him with those big blue eyes!" she said. I told her years later she and I would have gotten along better when I was a teenager if I'd just lied to her more, like my brother did. I was too honest with her.

My brother isn't like that anymore, thankfully. He's long since outgrown it. But it's an example of how manipulative males can be, specifically in regard to females. A lot of girls & women are far too trusting - it's built into us - and we have to fight it to avoid being taken advantage of. It's what we're dealing with with all these wide-eyed clueless social justice crazies - they're trying to do the right thing, but they too-easily believe that males magically turn into females in all ways when they claim to be female now. Progressives are further hobbled by the incorrect belief that male and female brains are exactly alike. They are not; there are distinct differences and Goddess knows I can tell listening to a transman or transwoman talk for awhile - you can always hear the birth thinking come through.

Someone here a few months ago recommended a transman discussion of autogynephilia in the trans movement - four very believable men! Like, if they hadn't identified they were transmen up front I don't think I would have known - at least until somewhere midway when they started showing characteristic female empathy and ways of speaking. Then I saw the female underneath shine through.

Some transwomen out themselves immediately this way - these are the guys who demonstrate the typical cluelessness you find in cis-men who have never tried to understand why women fear male bodies, particularly ones they don't know in private places. The ones who are pushing the hardest to be in places they don't belong are the most male of them all.

And BTW, hopefully I don't still have to say this but I will anyway since many feminists (including me sometimes) speak a little too generally about males: Not ALL males are manipulative or out to get what they can from women. but a lot of them are and I can speak from decades of experience that a helluva lot of men NEVER bother to try and learn anything real about women and what makes us tick, which is why so many can't even get a foot in the door for a date. I used to ask men complaining about how hard it was, "Did you ever Google on what women are looking for? Or on how to write a good dating profile? Or how to post a good dating photo, and which *not* to post? Or why men fail so much with women? Or the top mistakes men make in dating?" The answers are always No, no, no, no, and no. And these are guys *my* age, and I'm 60.

We are different, very different between the ears, and many women, including feminists, have a lot to learn about the importance of saying No (the subject of my last Substack article) and not being manipulated by, frankly, not terribly clever male opportunists.

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You mention trans outing themselves as they speak. There is another way too, behavior. Years ago in Thailand my wife said, "See the katoys over there?" "Where" "When have you seen a group of Thai women standing in a group on a street corner? That's what men do."

Her other tell, they overdo their perception of femininity. The most powerful feminine attributes are subtle. Natural and unforced.

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yeah, overdoing womanhood seems to be a universal challenge for transies. I remember when I first moved to Toronto I saw this very tall woman sort of lumbering down Yonge Street and her walk was weird...and I realized..."That's a MAN, baybee!" lol.

What the woke set doesn't understand - it's in direct violation of the left's overall narrative - is that men and women are NOT the same, not even at birth. We are wired differently. Each one of us has more brain wiring in common with a fellow male/female regardless of race, than we've got with a member of our own race and the opposite sex.

Our brains *are* different. I expect some folks eventually pull it off but most transies today, even the oldest of the Second Wave from the late oughts - are still so new at this that it may take many years to really pass as a convincing wo/man.

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I'm pretty sure the alien/other alien takeover of earth (a Twighlight Zone episode that stuck in my child brain) is true. This could explain so much!

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And then there's this:

Genesis 1:27 (the Bible) --- So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

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GOD WAS NON-BINARY!!! :)

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Why do you waste time, your own and your readers’, debating morons like this?

Sex is not binary . Sure it isn’t. Let’s talk about developmental defects and rare chromosomal defects.

Steve, SHE’S AN IDIOT. S he has lost contact with reality. She thinks about this gender shit too much, from a determination to believe garbage

Great start with the word redefinitions but it all falls apart with her first four words.

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"Why do you waste time, your own and your readers’, debating morons like this?"

Sun Tzu:

"If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle."

I don't see Julia as my enemy, but she's certainly on the other side of this debate. And to be clear, the side of sanity and rationality is losing. The balance of laws at the moment support treating "gender identity" as if it's more important than sex. They support self ID. They support treating correct pronoun usage as hate speech.

Yes, there are signs that the tide is turning, but there's a long way to go before sanity is restored. And even if it is, we're seeing similar insanity in many other social issues.

Understanding why people like Julia are willing to abandon reality and common sense is essential in persuading them. Calling them stupid isn't going to cut it. Just as them calling people "nazis" or "fascists" or "transphobes" doesn't cut it.

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In the spirit of Sun Tzu's Art of War I subscribed to Medium. I think that extreme partisanship puts you in an echo chamber and I try to avoid it and hope to not see people with different views as enemies.

While I hold some views that have inspired people to call me a libtard I must admit that today's political left terrifies me. Not because of what the political right says about them, but because of what I read them saying on Medium. It's as if they want me to see them as enemies.

When I speak of the political left I am thinking of the useful idiots of Marxism. Their open disdain for America, white people, men, and a desire to "fundamentally change America." Fundamental change requires destruction and replacement. To what? There are certainly things that need improvement, but when they openly declare me to be their enemy, how should I perceive them?

When trying to understand the opposing views of others leads to tribalistic othering of enemies it is worrisome.

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Yes, me too. I found quite a few people on Medium who feel the same as I do, i.e., classically liberal but now politically homeless. I would have likely stayed on Medium even writing my own articles if they hadn't suddenly kicked me off for defending JK Rowling.

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I lean alot harder left than you and today's left terrifies me as well. They are nothing so much as fundamentalists. They are so convicted they have the right answers that they excuse all poor and destructive behavior. They literally are an inquisition in every way excepting the bloodshed. They won't kill. But they will maim and destroy people's reputations and livelihoods and familial relationships. They are are out for revenge and rectification of past social injustices and are employing a horrible black hole of self-righteousness along with language policing as their main weapon.

I fear them as I never feared the right. At least Xtianity has the concept of tolerance (turn the other cheek) and redemption (love thine enemy as thyself), both of which tend to soften most of the extreme behavior - not all - they have their nutcases as well - but not in the numbers we are seeing with the current regressive left - so they aren't quite so destructive.

I am deeply angry about this turn of events, but I try to just focus on creating my own reality and maintaining benefit of the doubt for the individuals I interact with so I don't get too bitter.

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Scary how well and how often you write my thoughts better than I can.

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Thanks Miguelitro. I often have the same thought pertaining to you.

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I don't retreat from calling the trans fad my enemies. They are nothing else. Their goal of replacing biological sex with jenner idennidy is abhorrent. When they say things like "men can bear children" I just think they're insane. And they are as intensely intolerant in their orthodoxy as MAGA.

I don't want to spar anymore with you on our differences of opinion in finding common ground. When I read something like Julia opened with, that sex is not binary, it's like when I read Thomas Kuhn on scientific discovery and snapped the book shut. Life is too short and I have too little of it left to waste another millisecond on lunacy, or on fanatics of any stripe. I feel about science like some faith people feel about their god and I am ashamed that so many scientists have bought into gender ideology.

I admire your writing and I have stayed on your substack even as I have dropped most others I was on. But we are never going to agree on this. I feel no obligation to find common ground with fools, and I think you are wasting your fine mind and your eloquence with people liek Julia.

Though I find it refreshing when you just flatly deny something one of these people says.

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"I don't want to spar anymore with you on our differences of opinion in finding common ground."

Yep, I've long since stopped expecting to change your mind on this particular point. But while you (occasionally with good reason) accuse me of engaging with people for too long, I think you're far too quick to disengage.

If you take every incorrect or inaccurate statement as an immediate sign to dismiss people as idiots, you risk placing yourself in an echo chamber every bit as tight as the people you criticise. And you waste an opportunity to understand how this mind virus works and stop it.

The fact that trans ideology (and MAGA for that matter) have gotten so far is proof of the painful truth that simply being correct isn't enough.

So I'd much rather carefully refute some claim that the people who have been indoctrinated by this nonsense make, citing the evidence, and hopefully express myself in a way that they can hear and think more deeply about later, than call them idiots, give them one more excuse to claim that everybody who disagrees with them is a "meany" and encourage them to shut their eyes and ears that bit more tightly to the truth.

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I've actually been thinking of digging up my own copy of Sun Tzu for a new read. The last time I read it was because I learned a lot of corporate types read it. Now I want to know how to handle our virtue-signalling, scientifically illiterate adversaries.

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Oct 10, 2023Liked by Steve QJ

scientifically illiterate - yes. But they are very linguistically gifted - which is the problem. They are glib and know how to spin language and confuse people.

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"They are glib and know how to spin language and confuse people."

Absolutely. They have that in common with Trump actually.

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Oct 11, 2023·edited Oct 11, 2023Liked by Steve QJ

No, William F. Buckley was linguistically gifted. So was Rudolf Nabokov. So is Barack Obama. The wokies are good at obfuscation and smokescreening - and manipulation. We've been too permissive allowing them to erase the edges and boundaries around words. I intend to drag them kicking and screaming back to the Enlightenment - with facts, evidence, and original intentions of words, particularly critically important ones like violence, white supremacy, rape culture, and of course their favourite word victims, man & woman. What our adversaries are especially gifted at is spouting academic jargonbabble to sound more educated and intelligent than thou, when I'm convinced they don't even themselves know what they're saying - nor do they care. "That's just the sort of stochastic reductive hegemonic polemic I would expect from Jordan Peterson. His socio-political liminal praxis empowers the heteronormative metacognition, ontologically speaking, which plays right into the hands of dynamically cartesian prevarications wielded solely by phallocentric right-wing constructivists hell-bent on genociding the infant non-binaries equivocating their interdisciplinary queered false dichotomous perspectives!"

See? Now I'm so much smarter than you! ;)

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It took just a moment to see what you did there ;0)

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You had me at “phallocentric right-wing constructivists.” 🤣🤣

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https://www.amazon.com/Art-War-First-Contact-ebook/dp/B0C47ZT9QM/ref=sr_1_1

Same title, different book, and the original figures highly in the story. Australian SF writer Peter Cawdron, and a friend, I am one of his beta readers and you'll see my name in the credits at the end. I found quite a few corrections in this one.

This is maybe his 30th book about first contact between humans and aliens, and he keeps getting better. This one is a real page-turner.

"Wherever Seeds May Fall" is another really good one, and his only book with a sequel.

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This one isn't my thing, but thanks for the rec.

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Interesting.

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He's a very good writer. You would love the military detail.

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"All warfare is based on deception" is the most foundational idea.

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Well it sure worked for Hamas.

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I suspect that the payback will be a huge effort to make the Palestinians in Gaza wish that Hamas didn't exist. The suffering will be horrific for people who didn't ask for that shit.

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And Israel is again bombing hospitals.

“We do not target civilians,” they always say.

As they continue their slow-motion Holocaust in the West Bank.

And the settlers do a Hamas every few weeks. EVERY few weeks.

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